Match Preview: Lancashire Lightning v Durham Jets
Lancashire go in search of a third win from six matches in the NatWest T20 Blast when Durham visit Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon.
The Lightning are bidding to consolidate their place in the North Group’s top four.
They hold an identical record to Roses rivals Yorkshire; played six, won two, lost one, tied one and had one No Result.
Steven Croft’s side sit fourth in the table with six points following last night’s abandonment against Worcestershire at New Road.
Durham head to the North West all but of contention already.
They have lost their first three matches and started the competition with a four-point penalty imposed by the ECB due to their well documented financial problems.
Last season’s Blast runners-up have endured a torrid time in all competitions, losing twice to the Red Rose in limited overs cricket.
They have played their best cricket in the Royal London one-day Cup, narrowly missing out on a place in the knockout rounds.
The Jets won four of eight matches and had a chance of qualifying ahead of the last of those against Lancashire at Emirates Riverside.
But Dane Vilas scored a century to secure an away win.
Unfortunately, Lancashire finished fourth and just missed out as well.
Durham sit second from bottom of Division Two in the Specsavers County Championship having won two and lost four of their nine matches.
They are captained in this competition by young all-rounder Paul Coughlin, who is in his first campaign in charge.
But they will be without England’s Keaton Jennings and New Zealand overseas batsman Tom Latham, who has a stress fracture in his foot.
Paul Collingwood is still going strong.
LAST TIME OUT
These two sides met on opening night at Emirates Riverside earlier this month, and it was Lancashire who took the spoils with a comprehensive 52-run win.
Jos Buttler underpinned the Lightning’s 192-6 with 59 not out off 39 balls, including four fours and two sixes.
Karl Brown and Dane Vilas added 35 apiece and Arron Lilley 30.
Durham then rarely looked like getting close.
They lost wickets all too regularly, slipping to 51-4 in the seventh over and 88-5 in the 12th.
Jordan Clark returned the pick of the figures, 3-26 from four overs, while Tom Bailey, Ryan McLaren and captain Steven Croft all struck once apiece.
The Jets finished on 140-7 to give Clark the bragging rights in his first competitive senior appearance against his brother younger brother Graham.
Durham have won the last two Blast meetings between these two sides at Emirates Old Trafford.
WHAT THEY SAID:
“We are reasonably happy as a unit.”
That is the view of Lancashire’s assistant coach Mark Chilton following the early stages of the Blast.
“I think there’s room for improvement, but I think we’ve shown glimpses of some really good play,” continued the former county captain.
“There are areas where we can sharpen up, and we are looking forward to getting that opportunity against Durham.
“Our quality of fielding, we pride ourselves on that, I think there’s bits of work to be done there. Apart from that, I think we’re in pretty good shape.
“The nature of T20 is that you can have a couple of individual performances that win you a game.
“What we’re working towards is being a really strong unit, and that’s when you have a better chance of winning those games.
“We’ve got match-winners, and most sides do, but I do think it’s important we are paying attention to areas of our game, our tactics, style of play, our approach and making sure we’re getting those little things right to narrow those 50/50 margins in a game.
“Durham will be a little bit disappointed with how they’ve started, but that doesn’t mean that we can underestimate them in any way.”
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 Durham Jets, Sun 23 July, Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire Lightning v Notts Outlaws, Fri 28 July, Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids, Wed 16 August, Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire Lightning v Birmingham Bears, Fri 18 August, Emirates Old Trafford
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.