Match Preview: Durham Jets v Lancashire Lightning
Get ready for Blast off!
Lancashire Lightning begin their quest for a second NatWest T20 Blast title in three years with a trip to the North East to take on Durham Jets under lights at Emirates Riverside tomorrow.
These two sides have played out some crackerjack battles in the Blast over the years, with both sides sharing a win apiece in last season’s group stage.
Lightning are confident of adding their name to the short list of teams who have won this competition more than once.
Leicestershire have won it three times, while Hampshire and Northants have won it twice apiece.
It is the first of two North Group matches in three days for the Lightning, who host Leicester at Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
Durham Jets v Lancashire Lightning
Friday 7 July
Durham reached only their second Finals Day and their maiden final last year, but were pipped to the title by Northants.
The Jets finished fourth in the North and one place and a point above the Lightning.
They won their away quarter-final against Gloucestershire and semi against Yorkshire at Edgbaston before Northants reeled in a 154 target to win by four wickets.
Durham start this year’s competition minus four points following ECB penalties imposed due to the county’s financial problems.
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham has replaced South Africa Test opener Stephen Cook for the second half of the summer to play in the Blast and the County Championship as their overseas.
Left-handed Latham, 25, was on Durham’s Academy in 2010 and has made himself an integral part of his country’s Test and one-day sides. He played the last of 12 T20 internationals two years ago.
LAST TIME OUT
Lancashire ended last season’s competition with back-to-back wins, the first of which came against the Jets at the Riverside.
A trio of scores in the forties from Alviro Petersen, Karl Brown and Liam Livingstone led the Lightning to 176-3 having been inserted.
Durham were 115-2 in the 15th over until Saqib Mahmood claimed the wickets of Callum MacLeod and Ryan Pringle in three balls.
He finished with 3-31 before Nathan Buck defended 18 off the last over to seal a four-run win.
WHAT THEY SAID
Dane Vilas wants Lancashire to learn from their one-day mistakes of earlier in the season and make a fast start to the Blast.
The Lightning narrowly missed out on a place in the RL50 knockout stages having lost their first three group matches.
“Hopefully we’ll have a better start to our campaign than we had in the Royal London,” said the in-form South African batsman.
“We started off with those three losses, which put us on the back foot and meant we had to play catch up.”
Vilas has previous experience of success in T20 having won South Africa’s domestic competition with Cape Cobras in 2010/11.
“I’ve been really lucky to have done well with the Cobras and play in some really good teams there,” he said.
“We went to the Champions League in India three times having reached the finals or won the competition back home.”
Vilas is not the only one confident of success this season, with coach Glen Chapple admitting: “We’ve got a lot of quality, and I’m very optimistic about our chances.
“As ever, a single T20 game, you can’t predict it. But if you play good enough cricket throughout the full group, you should have a good chance of qualifying. A good start’s crucial.
“Our record of getting through to the quarters is good. That’s the first challenge. Then we’ll look to improve our ratio in the knockout stages.”
NatWest T20 Blast tickets
Don’t miss out on the biggest summer’s day out of the year and secure your tickets to watch the NatWest T20 Blast with tickets from £10 for adults and just £1 for kids.
Packed into just three short hours of explosive T20 cricket, the NatWest T20 Blast offers plenty of entertainment on and off-the-field for the entire family with themed nights, live music, street performers, games and activities, fancy dress stalls and plenty of food and drink in our Foster’s Fan Village.
Plus, with some of the biggest names in international cricket joining Lancashire this summer you can expect to see plenty of wickets flying and huge sixes at every match.
Lancashire Lightning NatWest T20 Blast home fixtures:
- Lancashire Lightning v Leicestershire Foxes, Sun 9 July, Liverpool CC - Buy Tickets
- Lancashire Lightning v Yorkshire Vikings, Fri 14 July, Emirates Old Trafford
- Lancashire Lightning v Derbyshire Falcons, Sun 16 July, Emirates Old Trafford - Buy Tickets
- Lancashire Lightning v Durham Jets, Sun 23 July, Emirates Old Trafford - Buy Tickets
- Lancashire Lightning v Notts Outlaws, Fri 28 July, Emirates Old Trafford - Buy Tickets
- Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids, Wed 16 August, Emirates Old Trafford - Buy Tickets
- Lancashire Lightning v Birmingham Bears, Fri 18 August, Emirates Old Trafford - Buy Tickets
Hurry and buy your tickets now. You can buy yours tickets here, or by calling 08444 999 666* or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Calls to 08444 999 666 cost 5p per minute from a BT landline, other networks and mobiles will vary.