Match Preview: Lightning v Steelbacks
Match Preview: Lancashire Lightning v Northants Steelbacks, Royal London One-Day Cup
Lancashire welcome Northamptonshire to Liverpool tomorrow as they look to register their first Royal London One-Day Cup win at the third attempt.
The Lightning have lost their opening two North Group matches to Leicestershire and Yorkshire.
But they will be hoping to turn that around against a Steelbacks side who have lost two of their first three and will be without Ben Duckett.
Lancashire must reach the top three in the North Group following the change in qualifying regulations for this summer.
The top team in each of the two groups automatically qualifies for a home semi-final and then second and third in each group plays off to face them.
Lancashire Lightning v Northants Steelbacks
Friday 5 May
The ECB have confirmed that Jimmy Anderson and Haseeb Hameed will be available to the Lightning for the whole of the group stages.
Northants batsman Duckett will not be available today having been selected in England’s squad for the two one-day internationals against Ireland, the first of which is in Bristol today.
Having lost their first two matches to champions Warwickshire and Derbyshire, Northants were involved in a thrilling tie with Worcestershire at Wantage Road last night as they fell short of chasing down 278.
Well placed at 198-3 in the 39th over of their chase, they lost four wickets for 40 to slip in trouble.
In the end, they had to get 13 off the last over to avoid defeat, with Adam Rossington finishing with an unbeaten 63. Rob Newton earlier scored 107.
Nathan Buck has made an impressive start to life with the county having moved from Emirates Old Trafford over the winter.
He has taken 16 wickets in three Championship matches.
The seamer played the first two Royal London One-Day Cup matches, but missed last night’s tie.
LAST TIME OUT
A top order batting collapse cost Lancashire a North Group victory over Northants at Wantage Road last June, with the hosts securing a 76-run win on the way to topping the group and reaching the last eight.
Northants posted 287-8 after being inserted thanks to Duckett’s 98, with Buck taking three wickets for the Lightning.
Lancashire then slipped to 98-5 in response on the way to being bowled out for 211.
Left-arm spinner Graeme White claimed career best figures of 6-37.
Northants were eventually beaten in the quarter-finals by Surrey.
WHAT THEY SAID
Jimmy Anderson has spoken of his enjoyment at being afforded a prolonged run of cricket with Lancashire ahead of the start of England’s summer Test schedule in July.
Anderson has played two of three Championship matches so far and both of the county’s Royal London One-Day Cup matches.
Earlier this week, England’s leading Test wicket-taker was made available by the ECB for three more Championship matches, including both Roses clashes later this month and into next, and all of the 50-over North Group programme.
“It’s been nice to have an extended period with Lancashire,” said the fast bowler. “I’ve not had that for a few years now duo to the amount of international cricket we’ve been playing. I’ve enjoyed being back.
“My shoulder is holding up, which was my main concern coming into the summer.
“I feel good, and hopefully I can continue that and steadily progress through to that first Test.”
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