Yorkshire v Lancashire: Day One (LV= County Championship)
Martyn Moxon says new arrival Aaron Finch could realistically win three NatWest T20 Blast matches on the back of his own performances for Yorkshire such are powerful Australian’s qualities in the game’s shortest format.
Finch is due to meet his new team-mates today having arrived at Manchester Airport last night after a modest spell at the Indian Premier League, where he scored only two half-centuries in 13 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
He will be at Headingley to watch the second day of the Roses LV= County Championship match. Lancashire had marginally the best of the 28 overs bowled during yesterday’s rain-ruined first day, reaching close at 87-2.
Opener Paul Horton will resume on 48 after seeing Luis Reece fall to Liam Plunkett and Karl Brown to Tim Bresnan, released by England to play.
Finch will debut for the Vikings in Friday’s clash with Derbyshire at Headingley before making his Championship bow against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Victorian is currently ranked as the world’s number one Twenty20 batsman, and he has reputation as a fearsome striker of the ball at the top of the order.
Finch turned down offers from other counties to play Twenty20 cricket alone to sign for Yorkshire in a bid to improve a first-class record which currently stands at only two hundreds from 39 matches.
He replaces New Zealander Kane Williamson, who leaves for the West Indies after the ongoing Roses match.
“Aaron’s an explosive batsman. He’s the number one T20 international player in the world, so you can’t get much better than that,” said White Rose director of cricket Moxon.
“We’re all excited and looking forward to having him around. He’s been checking how we’ve been going during the season, and he’s really looking forward to getting here as well.
“I guess he’s been a little bit up and down as far as his runs scored are concerned (in the IPL). But, over the ten games he might play for us, if he can win us two or three then that’s happy days.
“When you’re looking for overseas players, you’re looking for someone who can make a difference and can put in match-winning performances for you.
“If he bats for ten to 12 overs, you know you’re going to get a decent score as long as people play well around him. I’m not expecting him to come and win every game for us, but I think he’s capable of winning two, three or four games.
“I think we can learn a lot from him, particularly how he goes about his Twenty20 batting because there is an art to it.
“It's not just slogging the way he plays, it's very good, positive batting. Our younger lads can learn a lot from him in particular.
"If he doesn't get a boundary, he gets a one. That's the art really. That's something we're continually working on in that first six overs, not eating up too many dot balls.”
As exciting as it will be to watch Finch bat in Twenty20 cricket, it will be equally intriguing to see how he fairs in the Championship. The decision has not been made on whether he will open or bat in the middle order.
Yorkshire did not bowl to their full potential yesterday, especially in the early stages of play, as Horton and Reece played confidently in sharing 70.
Plunkett, however, caused the Red Rose problems from around the wicket late on, and he will be frustrated at having Horton caught in the slips with a no ball on 46.
At Headingley Carnegie. Yorkshire Won Toss
Lancashire First Innings Close
P J Horton not out..................................48
L M Reece c Sidebottom b Plunkett ..23
K R Brown lbw b Bresnan...................... 3
A G Prince not out ................................... 0
Extras (lb7 nb6 pens 0)...... 13
Total 2 wkts (28 overs) .......87
Fall: 1-70 2-86
To Bat: S J Croft, A L Davies, T C Smith,
G Chapple, K W Hogg, Kabir Ali, S C
Bowling: Sidebottom 8-1-22-0. Brooks
8-3-2-0. Bresnan 6-1-17-1. Plunkett 6-1-