DOM BESS says Yorkshire are a completely different side to the Vitality Blast this season compared to when they were on loan with County in 2019.
Bess contributed to the Vikings’ strong start in the current Northern Group campaign, winning four of their first six games to climb to the top of the standings.
Bess won five wickets in two games after England’s test against Worcestershire at New Road last Wednesday (2-30) and Derbyshire at Emerald Headingley on Sunday (3-21).
The first was an even career record and the second the best freelance career numbers. More importantly, both were victories.
Yorkshire are back in action tomorrow when they face Worcestershire at Emerald Headingley (6.30pm) in their seventh game, marking the group’s halfway point.
Another victory would see the Vikings take an important step towards a place in the top four in the group for a place in the quarter-finals.
Their performances so far stand in stark contrast to previous seasons, where they have always struggled to gain momentum. For example, qualifying for the quarterfinals this summer would be the first since 2016.
Bess got a brief glimpse of that frustration when he was loaned out by Somerset in 2019, with the Vikings winning just one of his six games.
âI have definitely seen a difference from when I arrived two years ago,â he said. âYou can see the guys take it to the next level.
âSomeone like Harry Brook hits it beautifully. Jordan Thompson with the bat at the end of Sunday, Matthew Waite hitting it with the first ball.
âPeople trust them, and that’s so important.
âEven when the games are tough, we find a way.
âThe really important thing now is to build on this momentum.
âI know Derby has had a few injuries so Worcester will be a bit stronger.
âThey won’t have Moeen Ali, but they’re still a quality team.
“But I just like the way we play our cricket.”
Tomorrow is only set to be the 11th T20 game of Bess’s career, against 59 first-class appearances, including 14 Test Matches for England.
Despite this lack of T20 first-team experience, he played 24 second-team games for Somerset and Yorkshire, helping to build confidence in his short-form game plan.
âI know my strengths,â he said. âI played in the power play. But when you have Joe Root, he can do that job and let me play four overs in the middle.
âI’d like to think I’m a pretty smart cricketer who reads the game. I’m doing my homework. It’s really important.
âBut, with T20 cricket, you have to take it with a pinch of salt.
âWith the way the game is going, there’s a lot of luck with that.
âI always think of calculated risk – where do I want people to hit me? I think with that side of things I’m pretty smart.
âWhen I’m there, I try to put it in my favor. Some days that won’t work in your favor. Sunday was my day.
Bess has enjoyed a very productive first full season as a Yorkshire player.
Ahead of T20, he claimed 14 wickets in eight league games, including tie-breakers 6-53 and 4-51 in both encounters with Sussex.
“What screams at me is the opportunity I have been given,” he added. âThat’s all I wanted in Somerset, and not much has happened.
âSometimes I felt a bit stuck and couldn’t express myself.
âHere I’m obviously the first spinner in the red ball thing, and I’m now playing in the T20.
“That’s all I ever wanted, the chance to play, because I’m a pretty confident person and I stand up for myself.”
2018 champions Worcestershire have won two of five games so far and are looking for the third win when they face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge tonight.
As Bess says, they will be deprived of the Key Versatile Moeen Ali because of English duty.
Yorkshire won by 94 races at New Road last Wednesday on the back of a glittering century of Jonny Bairstow.