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NatWest T20 Blast

PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning v Notts Outlaws

PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning v Notts Outlaws

PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning v Notts Outlaws, sponsored by Palletower

Three weeks ago, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales went head to head in a baseball home run hitting challenge in Hyde Park as part of America’s Independence Day celebrations.

Tomorrow night (Friday 28 July), the England pair meet again, this time doing what they do best. Smacking sixes and fours.

Lancashire face Nottinghamshire at Emirates Old Trafford looking for their fourth win from eight group games in the NatWest T20 Blast.

The Red Rose missed the chance to go top of the North Group on Tuesday evening when they lost to fellow quarter-final contenders Derbyshire Falcons at the County Ground chasing 212.

Notts are also very much in the hunt, with this a key game for both sides.

Lancashire are also looking to end a run of six straight Blast defeats against the Outlaws, with their last victory in this fixture coming in July 2011.

The good news is that the Lightning have lost only one of their last eight Blast home games, winning six of them. That defeat came against Leicestershire at Liverpool recently.

Back to that baseball challenge. It was a Home Run Derby organised by Major League Baseball with the aim of spreading the game in the UK.

Buttler turned out for the Boston Red Sox and Hales the LA Dodgers as they tried to hit as many home runs in an allotted two-minute slot. The result; Hales eight points, to Buttler five.

Fingers crossed that result is different tomorrow.

THE MATCH

Lancashire Lightning v Notts Outlaws, sponsored by Palletower

Friday 28 July

Emirates Old Trafford

NatWest T20 Blast

OPPONENTS

Notts have recovered from losing their first two group matches to Yorkshire and Birmingham to win their three of their last four matches against Derbyshire, Northants and Durham.

Peter Moores’ men have form when it comes to recovering from slow starts to tournaments.

They recovered from a slow start to their Royal London one-day Cup campaign earlier this summer to go on and claim the title.

They have been hit by injuries to seamer Luke Fletcher, who is out for the season with a head injury, and Michael Lumb, who has been forced to retire due to an ankle problem.

In a home win over Derbyshire last Friday, they posted 227-3 before only just defending it. It was the joint-second highest score of the Blast so far, with Riki Wessels hitting 110.

Captained by Australian all-rounder Dan Christian in this format, New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi is the other overseas player for last season’s beaten semi-finalists.

The Outlaws did lose their last match, against Worcestershire on Wednesday, and sit on six points after six games.

LAST TIME OUT 

A thrilling two-wicket defeat at Trent Bridge last June was part of a damaging start for the Lightning, who lost three of their first four and did not recover.

Lancashire posted a competitive 184-4, including Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 56 off 29 balls.

Notts got off to a flyer thanks to fifties for Michael Lumb and Riki Wessels, who put on 100 in 8.4 overs.

They reached 130-1 inside 13 overs, but lost wickets as Lancashire dragged things back superbly.

Unfortunately, however, having set a target of 15 off the last over, Notts were given six penalty runs due to the visitors’ slow over-rate and secured the win with two balls remaining.

The Outlaws went on to be beaten by eventual champions Northants in the semi-final at Edgbaston in August.

WHAT THEY SAID

Arron Lilley is targeting four wins from Lancashire’s remaining seven fixtures to secure quarter-final qualification.

The off-spinning all-rounder, promoted to bat at three and take advantage of the power play overs, says the Lightning conceded “probably 20 or 30 runs too many” in defeat against Derbyshire on Tuesday.

Lilley remains confident in the county’s ability to secure silverware this year, however, and is targeting back-to-back wins this weekend against Notts and then Birmingham at Edgbaston on Sunday in order to give them some breathing space.

“We plays Notts Friday, which is a massive game, and Birmingham on Sunday,” he said.

“If we can two wins out of the next three, we’ll be alright.

“We’ve not reached our potential yet. We’ve got a lot more to come. When it clicks, we’ll be right up there.

“There’s seven games left, and I think we need to win four. We might get through with three.

“The way the table’s looking at the minute, Notts look strong and a few other teams have games in hand.

“With Peter Moores in charge, they’ve been going really well this year.

“They won the one-day Cup and are up there in the Championship. We have to dust ourselves down and get ready for Friday.

“It puts us on a bit of a roll and in a good spot for next week when we have Northants (Thursday and Leicestershire on Friday).”

Other fixtures

The other fixtures which are taking place in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group on Friday 28 July are:

  • Leicestershire Foxes v Durham Jets, Grace Road
  • Derbyshire Falcons v Northants Steelbacks, The 3aaa County Ground
  • Birmingham Bears v Yorkshire Vikings, Edgbaston

Bails and Ales drinks festival

This summer, Emirates Old Trafford will be hosting its first ever Bails and Ales drinks festival during the final two games of the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast campaign.

The Bails and Ales drinks festival will be the first of its kind for the biggest domestic cricket competition in the country, and will combine that festival atmosphere with exciting T20 cricket – with some of best named breweries coming together for this unique event including Heineken, JW Lees, Joseph Holt and Robinsons.

2017 Bails and Ales drinks festival dates

  • Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids (including Lancashire Thunder v Surrey Stars) – Wed 16 Aug
  • Lancashire Lightning v Birmingham Bears – Fri 18 Aug

Buy your tickets for the first ever Bails and Ales drinks festival here, or by calling 0161 868 6868 or emailing tickets@lccc.co.uk ...but don’t forget you can benefit from the best ticket prices by buying online and can beat the queues by using our print at home tickets.

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