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Royal London One-Day Cup

"We have to improve" - Liam Livingstone

"We have to improve" - Liam Livingstone

Liam Livingstone says Lancashire must formulate a winning game plan quickly if they are to enjoy success in this season’s Royal London one-day Cup.

The Lightning batsman and stand-in captain has overseen two early North Group losses to undermine their bid for qualification.

They lost out in a thriller against Leicestershire at Emirates Old Trafford last Friday before being comfortably beaten by Roses rivals Yorkshire at Headingley on Bank Holiday Monday.

It means Livingstone and company face an uphill battle to get out of the group even at this early stage in the competition.

Make no mistake, the powerful Cumbrian is confident they can turn things around with six games remaining.

But he knows it has to start soon, preferably against Northamptonshire at Liverpool on Friday.

“We can’t lose too many more games,” he said.

“We can’t keep brushing over the fact that we keep losing games. We’ve got to learn very quickly.

“The boys are keen to learn, and we are trying to get better in the way we play.

“We’re not a million miles away, but I still don’t think we know what our best balance is as a side yet.

“We’re trying different things, and hopefully things will click into place very quickly for us. Hopefully that starts on Friday.

“It’s a change of scenery, and the pitches are usually alright at Liverpool. Hopefully we can get back on the bike, not dwell on Yorkshire too much and get the boulder rolling.”

Livingstone’s admission that the Lightning have yet to find the correct balance to their team was highlighted at Headingley when they tinkered with their batting order.

England Test opener Haseeb Hameed scored 88 on List A debut against Leicester, but he made way for Luke Procter against Yorkshire and batted at three.

Karl Brown and Livingstone also dropped down a place to four and five as a result, with Procter promoted from number six.

“The first 10 overs in one-day cricket are massive nowadays, so we’re just trying to find our best way to go about it,” said Livingstone, who praised Yorkshire’s performance against them.

“They played really well and showed us that it’s not really the fours and sixes that win you one-day games. Dot balls are massive.

“Gary Ballance and Peter Handscomb (they scored 85 and 86 of 296-9) didn’t have many in the middle of the innings and we had a lot.

“We can learn from the way they played, and that can only help us.”

Livingstone’s short spell as a captain will soon be over with regular skipper Steven Croft closing in on a return to action following his thumb injury.

Croft has missed all but one competitive game this season across both 50-over and Championship cricket.

Like Lancashire, Northants also lost their opening two North Group matches against champions Warwickshire and then Derbyshire.

They are playing their third match at home to Worcestershire today.

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