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Everyone's excited about Lancashire T20 clash - Azeem Rafiq

Action from Lancashire v Yorkshire in the T20 Blast
Players as well as fans always look out for the dates of Roses clashes when county fixtures are revealed
©REUTERS / Action Images

Yorkshire off-spinner Azeem Rafiq says he and his team-mates are excited about tomorrow's NatWest T20 Blast clash with Roses rivals Lancashire at Headingley.

NatWest T20 Blast North Group

Pos Team Pld Pts NRR
1 Northamptonshire 7 11 +0.752
2 Birmingham 7 11 +0.724
3 Worcestershire 8 9 -0.560
4 Notts Outlaws 7 8 -0.073
5 Lancashire 8 7 +0.214
6 Durham 7 6 -0.005
7 Derbyshire 7 5 +0.024
8 Leicestershire 8 5 -0.052
9 Yorkshire 7 4 -1.184

Rafiq was recently re-signed by Yorkshire and made the first appearance of his second spell at the club in the one-run Duckworth-Lewis method victory over Derbyshire, taking two for 33.

"It went quite nicely," Rafiq said about his second Yorkshire debut.

"Obviously it was nice to get over the line against Derby. It’s been very exciting, and things have gone quite quickly but I’m enjoying every day."

In that game he was asked by skipper Kane Williamson to bowl during the powerplay and he admitted this isn't something that fazes him.

"I haven’t done it much before. I think I’ve only done it once in one of my first games as a 17 year-old, but it was something Kane (Williamson) wanted me to do and I’m just really happy to be in the team.

"Whatever I get asked to do, I’ll try to do it to the best of my ability."

Yorkshire followed up that win over Derbyshire - their first of a disappointing campaign - with a defeat to Durham and are now five points adrift of fourth place, which would guarantee a quarter-final spot.

However, Rafiq and his team-mates remain confident that they can still get out of the group although he concedes the season has been inconsistent so far.

"Yes, I think in T20 now with the way the fixtures are, it’s a long season.

"Sometimes it can work in your favour.

"Hopefully we can kick on from Friday and then you just never know, you’ve got to take each game as it comes."

No Yorkshire player needs much extra motivation when Lancashire are in town and Rafiq is hoping that his own good form in the fixture can spur Yorkshire on to victory.

"Generally it’s gone really nicely for me in those fixtures, but more importantly I think for the fans and all the boys it’s one of those fixtures you look for when the fixtures first come out.

"Everyone’s really excited so yes, I’m really looking forward to it."

Yorkshire go into the match having won four of their last six games against Lancashire at home, although their opponents are currently on their best ever run of three consecutive Roses wins.

Jack Leaning will face a late fitness test on an ankle injury picked up during Yorkshire's draw with Pakistan A this week.

Yorkshire squad for Lancashire T20 Blast fixture: Alex Lees (captain), Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Ben Coad, Ryan Gibson, Andrew Hodd (wicket-keeper), Jack Leaning, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Azeem Rafiq, Will Rhodes, Josh Shaw, Kane Williamson

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