MATCH PREVIEW: Lightning v Foxes
Match Preview: Lancashire Lightning v Leicestershire Foxes, Royal London One-Day Cup
Lancashire Lightning v Leicestershire Foxes
Friday 28 April
Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire have enjoyed a healthy start to the season with the red ball, winning one and drawing two of their first three Specsavers County Championship matches.
Now the Lightning are ready to strike with the white ball too!
The county begin their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign tomorrow when they host Leicestershire Foxes under lights at Emirates Old Trafford.
And they are searching for only their second piece of limited overs silverware since the turn of the century.
They won the T20 Blast in 2015, but they have not won a major List A trophy since 1999 when John Crawley lifted the CGU League title.
Since the return of 50-over cricket in 2014, Lancashire have failed to reach the knockout stages of the RL50 competition, finishing bottom of last season’s North Group.
But this year, Red Rose fans will be hoping that changes and Steven Croft can be the man who lifts silverware at Lord’s on July 1.
Lancashire will actually be without their captain, Croft, for the early stages of the 50-over competition due to the thumb injury he sustained in the opening week Championship draw at Essex.
Amazingly, it is the first competitive limited overs match Croft has missed since the 2006 C&G Trophy final defeat to Sussex at Lord’s.
That is a run of 239 matches of one-day and T20 cricket combined!
Shivnarine Chanderpaul has also been ruled out of Lancashire’s first two fixtures against the Foxes and Yorkshire at Headingley on Monday due to his thigh injury.
England Test batsman Haseeb Hameed could make his senior limited overs debut.
Leicestershire have lost two of their first three Division Two Championship matches this season.
Three-time winners of the T20 Blast, the Foxes last won a one-day trophy in 1985 when they lifted the Benson and Hedges Cup.
They finished second-bottom of last year’s North Group table with two wins from their eight matches.
Coach Andrew McDonald left Grace Road last September to return home to Australia to coach Victoria, and he has been replaced by his assistant Pierre de Bruyn.
The Foxes signed former Lancashire seamer Gavin Griffiths ahead of this season, and he has played in two of their three Championship matches so far.
Former Red Rose Academy spinner Callum Parkinson, twin brother of Matt, also moved from Midlands rivals Derbyshire, taking their trio of former Lancashire players to three alongside Paul Horton.
Overseas bowler Clint McKay is their new one-day captain this year. He has taken over from Mark Pettini and is sharing duties with Championship skipper and fellow Australian Mark Cosgrove. McKay, however, is doubtful with a back injury.
LAST TIME OUT
This was a day Lancashire would rather forget. They lost last season’s group clash at Grace Road by 131 runs.
Mark Pettini hit 92 and Cosgrove 91 to underpin a total of 307-8, including two wickets for Nathan Buck, Kyle Jarvis and Tom Smith.
Only Smith topped 50 as the Lightning were bowled out for 176 in reply. Medium pacer Neil Dexter claimed four wickets for the hosts.
WHAT THEY SAID
Glen Chapple hopes this summer’s county schedule will enable Lancashire to find the consistency they lacked in 50-over cricket last summer.
Lancashire failed to build on winning their opening fixture against Warwickshire last summer, going on to win only one more of their remaining seven North Group matches.
Last year, 50-over matches were interspersed with T20 and Championship fixtures, and the Red Rose struggled to adapt.
Now, all eight group matches are played in a block before the next Championship match on May 19.
“We have struggled to have the right balance in 50 over cricket in recent years,” said the former all-rounder. You need options in the bowling department, but you need the batting to go long too. We have had decent sides on paper, but have come unstuck.
“I thought last year we played a couple of good games at the start, then had a break and had a decent side later on.
“With it in a block this season, hopefully we can form a pattern of play and get some early success.”
Chapple believes this season’s schedule actually makes it more realistic for a county to compete for trophies across all three competitions.
The NatWest T20 Blast is also played in a block through the heart of the summer.
In previous seasons, it has not been uncommon for counties to rest and rotate players for the late season 50-over competition.
This year, however, Chapple sees it differently.
“It does look like there’s more of a chance to take one competition at a time, whereas previously it didn’t look like there was a chance to compete in all three,” said the Lancashire coach.
“It may be that some bowlers get in so many overs that they may need a rest, and it would still be better if you had specific bowlers for each competition. You can’t really plan for that because you’d need to carry a lot more in your squad.
“But, yes, there is more of a chance this year to have a crack at all three.”
Watch the Royal London One-Day Cup
Experience One-Day cricket at Emirates Old Trafford as Lancashire Lightning look to make it to the final of the Royal London One-Day Cup at Lord’s this summer.
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