PREVIEW: Middlesex v Lancashire
Match Preview: Middlesex CCC v Lancashire CCC, Specsavers County Championship
Lancashire travel to Lord’s tomorrow looking to end the season on a high with the first of two victories.
The Red Rose can no longer win the Specsavers County Championship title, but a win against last year’s champions Middlesex at the Home of Cricket would leave them within touching distance of second place.
That would certainly be a positive outcome following last year’s seventh placed finish in Division One when they were only 10 points above the relegation zone.
Lancashire are aiming to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Somerset at Taunton.
The county have not won a Championship match at Lord’s since a 10-wicket victory in 2006. They finished second in the table that year too!
Since then, Lancashire have lost away to Middlesex twice and drawn once, the latter coming last June.
Middlesex are in the relegation zone and involved in a tense three-way battle it avoid the drop with Somerset and Yorkshire.
Lancashire are 17 points clear of third-placed Surrey, who visit Emirates Old Trafford next week.
Middlesex v Lancashire
Tuesday 19 – Friday 22 September
Specsavers County Championship
This hasn’t been the defence of their title Middlesex were hoping for, or even expecting.
They have only won twice in 12 matches, losing three and drawing seven.
James Franklin’s side sit second bottom on 123 points. They are level on points with Somerset, who have won one more match, and one point behind Yorkshire in sixth.
Next week sees Middlesex travel to Somerset.
This week, Somerset travel to Surrey and Yorkshire host Warwickshire.
Middlesex’s last two matches, both draws against Yorkshire and Hampshire, have been ravaged by the wet weather at Headingley and Uxbridge.
Seamers Steven Finn and Ashes contender Toby Roland-Jones are both available to play, while their overseas player is the veteran Australian batsman Adam Voges.
LAST TIME OUT
Lancashire beat Middlesex at Southport in early June by eight wickets, the first of back-to-back home wins - Hampshire at Emirates Old Trafford was the other.
It was Middlesex’s first Championship defeat since September 2015, an unbeaten run of 21 games coming to an end.
The visitors elected to bat upon winning the toss and were bowled out for 180, with Saqib Mahmood and Jordan Clark claiming three wickets apiece.
Ryan McLaren and Tom Bailey then hit 75 and 58 to help the hosts recover from 136-6 in reply to post 309, with them sharing 87 for the ninth wicket. Tim Murtagh picked up six-for for the visitors.
Stephen Parry then claimed five second-innings wickets in Middlesex’s 236, setting a target of 108.
Haseeb Hameed and Steven Croft hit 38 not out and 34 not out respectively, helping Lancashire bounce back from their first defeat of the season at Yorkshire.
This win was confirmed with a session remaining and despite the whole of day two being washed out.
WHAT THEY SAID
Lancashire coach Glen Chapple believes the future is bright for his team and is delighted that a number of starring performances this season have come from the club’s homegrown players and youngsters.
While Ryan McLaren, in particular, Shiv Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas have all contributed heavily this season, the likes of Alex Davies and Liam Livingstone to name just two have shone as well.
“We’ve had good, homegrown Lancashire players making massive contributions this year,” said Chapple.
“That is one of our biggest priorities moving forwards, and it has been at the club for a long time.
“We have a young leg-spinner in Matt Parkinson who was very successful all the way through T20 and is making a contribution now in Championship cricket.
“We’ve got a 20-year opening the batting (Haseeb Hameed) and Liam Livingstone getting a double hundred at 24. Alex Davies is 21/22.
“The club can be proud of a lot of what is going on with our younger players.
“Of course we’ve got senior players who are helping to provide the example that everybody needs.”
Take a look at the other fixtures taking place in the next round of the Specsavers County Championship this week.
- Yorkshire v Warwickshire, Headingley
- Surrey v Somerset, The Kia Oval
- Hampshire v Essex, The Ageas Bowl
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