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Royal London One-Day Cup

Match Preview: Lightning v Rapids, sponsored by David Lloyd Manchester

Match Preview: Lightning v Rapids, sponsored by David Lloyd Manchester

Match Preview: Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids, sponsored by David Lloyd Manchester

Lancashire are up and running in the Royal London One-Day Cup, but they can’t ease up in their bid for a knockout place this week.

The Lightning face in-form Worcestershire Rapids at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow, sponsored by David Lloyd Manchester in the first of two home games in three days that will shape their bid for qualification.

They also tackle Derbyshire Falcons at Blackpool on Friday, and nothing less than two wins will do.

The win over champions Warwickshire at Edgbaston has given the squad a huge boost in confidence after three defeats on the bounce.

And they now welcome a Worcester side who sit second in the North Group table.

The Rapids are unbeaten with three wins from four 50-over matches and a tie.

In fact, they are the only unbeaten team in county cricket this summer across all forms.

They will have England all-rounder Moeen Ali available tomorrow.

THE MATCH

Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids, sponsored by David Lloyd Manchester

Wednesday 10 May

Emirates Old Trafford

Royal London One-Day Cup

OPPONENTS

Worcestershire would return to the top of the North Group with a win tomorrow as long as Yorkshire lose their match away at Northamptonshire.

The Rapids have not had a game since last Friday when they beat the White Rose in a high-scoring affair at New Road, with opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore hitting a century.

They have posted scores of 361-8 and 342 all out in victories over Leicestershire and Yorkshire this season, and they have also won two from two in the Specsavers County Championship.

Worcester have a new captain in all-rounder Joe Leach, although former skipper Daryl Mitchell is still proving to be an integral part of their line-up.

Australian all-rounder John Hastings is their overseas player for 2017, but he has been called up for his country’s forthcoming Champions Trophy campaign next month.

His compatriot Nathan Lyon, the Test off-spinner, will replace him on a short-term basis later this month.

LAST TIME OUT

Defeat against the Rapids at New Road last July ended the Lightning’s chances of qualifying for the 2016 quarter-finals.

They lost by four wickets with 2.2 overs to spare as the hosts comfortably chased down a target of 268 thanks to Tom Fell’s 116 off 123 balls.

Fell’s century was his first and only List A ton to date, and it came just weeks after he had returned to the county game having battled through testicular cancer.

Earlier, Lightning captain Steven Croft hit a patient 78. But, along with 43 from Karl Brown and 47 from Luke Procter, he could not get the visitors up to and beyond 300.

South African seamer Kyle Abbott took three wickets for the Rapids as they restricted Lancashire to 267-7 and later sealed a quarter-final berth.

Saqib Mahmood and Stephen Parry took two wickets apiece for Lancashire.

WHAT THEY SAID

Steven Croft is backing the Lightning to get on the roll they need to secure qualification out of the North Group.

Captain Croft hammered a spectacular career best 127 in the 26-run win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Sunday, ending a frustrating period on the sidelines for the all-rounder following a thumb injury.

“It was great to get the win, and hopefully we can build on that,” he said ahead of the first of four remaining fixtures. “We’ve definitely got the skill to do it.

“There’s still room for improvement on our basics, but hopefully we use that (Warwickshire) as a platform.

“When the games are coming thick and fast, that’s when you want to start winning. We should be able to get on a roll with the talent we’ve got.

“Worcestershire are a really good One-Day side.

“It will be good to go home and hopefully get a win.”

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