Livingstone reflects on the first game of the season
Liam Livingstone reflects on Nottinghamshire defeat
Liam Livingstone has hailed Joe Mennie’s debut performance with the ball, and the Lancashire captain is determined to look on the bright side following their opening round home defeat to Nottinghamshire.
“It’s disappointing, but we dust ourselves down and go again,” was his message ahead of Friday’s trip to Chelmsford to face the reigning Specsavers county champions Essex.
Mennie was the Red Rose’s standout performer against Notts at Emirates Old Trafford, taking three wickets in each innings.
That included 3-4 from two overs in the second innings on Monday’s fourth day as he made the visitors sweat a touch chasing a target of only 10. They won by six wickets.
Of the 29-year-old South Australia bowler, Livingstone said: “I think Joe bowled really well in his first game.
“I thought he was brilliant in the first innings and very unlucky. On another day, he could have had six or seven wickets.
“Joe has fitted in really well.
“He’s a great lad, and in the first innings there were a few times where he was done and I said ‘Can you just bowl one more?’ - and he’s happy to do it for the team.”
Livingstone also praised Mennie’s fellow new signings Graham Onions and Keaton Jennings.
“Joe’s great to have around,” he continued. “But Bunny (Onions) is exactly the same, and Keats has fitted in really well as well.
“The squad is there and the team is there. We’ve just got to forget this one and start again on Friday at Chelmsford.”
Lancashire’s batting strength has been highly praised during pre-season, but it was their bowlers who kept them in the game against Steven Mullaney’s men.
“Tom Bailey also bowled really well first innings,” said Livingstone. “We’ve also got Jordan Clark. Ok, he didn't bowl great in the first innings, but he’s bowled really well all winter.
“We’ve got four high quality seamers, with Saqib Mahmood maybe in contention for Friday.
“Who knows, Jimmy (Anderson) could also be back for two or three of the games leading into the Test Matches.
“Our bowling attack looks strong.
“We’ve also got two spinners in Matt Parkinson and Stephen Parry. We’ve got a great batting line-up as well, but it’s up to us to take it on and, once we get in, make some big scores.”
England Lions paceman Mahmood missed the Notts game through injury.
Last season, Lancashire drew both games with Essex, including an opening round game at Chelmsford which they dominated before a final day Dan Lawrence century thwarted them.
From there, Essex never looked back and won 10 of their 14 fixtures.
But Lancashire were the only side they did not beat all season.
The champions, however, started their defence with a washed out draw against Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley, where not a ball was bowled across the four days due to a wet outfield.
Peter Siddle’s debut as their short-term overseas signing was therefore delayed.
Siddle took 18 wickets in four early-season Championship matches for Lancashire in 2015, with them winning promotion from Division Two that summer.
The Australian was signed to play the first five four-day games for Essex before being replaced by another former Red Rose bowler in Neil Wagner next month.
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