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Croft targets Lancashire consistency

Croft targets Lancashire consistency

Steven Croft is targeting back-to-back wins across two competitions tomorrow and Sunday in order to bring some consistency to Lancashire’s limited overs season.

The Lightning captain has seen his side win two and lose four of six matches in the NatWest T20 Blast and the Royal London one-day Cup this year.

They have lost three of four in the Blast and have a won one, lost one record in the RL50.

Lancashire host Leicestershire at Emirates Old Trafford in the Blast tomorrow before welcoming Nottinghamshire to Blackpool on Sunday in the RL50.

Croft has seen his side play some excellent cricket in the home wins over Yorkshire and Warwickshire across both competitions.

But he has been frustrated at their defeats, most recent away at Notts in the T20 when slow over-rate cost them dear and then at Northamptonshire on Wednesday when they slipped from 67-1 to 98-5 in a 50-over defeat chasing 288.

“We haven’t won back-to-back games this year, and that’s something we want to address and try to get on a roll,” said Croft.

“Saturday was a big disappointment in the Blast, mainly down to our fault.

“It’s something that we want to get right because the game’s are coming thick and fast now.

“I can’t put my finger on why it hasn’t clicked (in all limited overs cricket). I don’t know.

“We’ve obviously started slow in the T20, and we want to turn that around. We know how much of a part momentum plays in this format.

“It would be nice to get going and climb up that group ladder. The main thing is to qualify, although hopefully we can have a home quarter-final. That starts against Leicestershire.”

Leicester have won two and lost two in the Blast so far.

On Sunday, Croft returns to his home ground of Stanley Park, Blackpool, for the first time as Lancashire’s permanent captain.

They welcome a Notts side who have won both their games so far by posting 400 plus in each, albeit only just defending them against Northants and Warwickshire.

He skippered them in last year’s 50-over thriller against Middlesex there, but only as a stand-in for injured Tom Smith.

That game was a thriller, with Lancashire chasing 168 with only two wickets to spare. They recovered from 93-6 and even had nervy moments at 147-8.

“We were involved in quite a few low-scoring games last year, including that one,” he added.

“Hopefully it can be a bit more high-scoring, but it’s one of them. You look at Wednesday, and even a scrappy win will do at times.

“It didn’t need someone getting 120 off 60 balls. It just needed someone to get a run-a-ball 70 or 80 and we’d have been there.

“We have to go back to basics really, that application to keep it tight with the bat and with the ball. It sounds simple, but that’s what you’ve got to do to win games.

“I’m really looking forward to Sunday. It will be my first time as full-time captain going back (to Blackpool).

“It will be against a good, in-form Notts side who are scoring big. It will be a great test.

“We played well against a really strong Warwickshire side. Hopefully we can get our skills back up there and get a win.

“It looks like Notts are getting some players in form, taking wickets and scoring runs.

“We’ve been a little bit indifferent from comp to comp, and we want to work on that inconsistency and try to string some wins together.”

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