MATCH PREVIEW: Essex v Lancashire
PREVIEW: Essex v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship
Essex v Lancashire
The CloudFM County Ground
Friday 20 – Monday 23 April
Specsavers County Championship
Last Time Out
Liam Livingstone will be hoping Lancashire can make full use of what he believes is an away team advantage in terms of early season conditions in the Specsavers County Championship when the Red Rose take on Essex tomorrow.
Lancashire are looking to bounce back from their opening round defeat to Nottinghamshire against the reigning champions at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford.
Despite the six-wicket loss, engineered by a superb fourth day bowling display from Notts on Monday when the hosts lost eight wickets in double quick time, Livingstone is refusing to be downbeat.
The cricket comes thick and fast in Division One ahead of next month’s break for the start of the Royal London one-day Cup, so there is plenty of time for Lancashire to get back on track.
“It’s only one game, and we go again at Essex,” said Livingstone. “We've still got another four big games to start the season.
“That morning session can happen in cricket, especially early season.
“I do think that it is a little bit of an advantage playing away from home for the first couple of games of the season because you get the better of the conditions because the grounds are still damp.
“I think we had the tougher of the conditions, but I also think we were outplayed, which is the main thing. If you play good cricket and not have the best of the conditions, you can hold your hands up.”
Lancashire can take confidence from last season’s displays against Essex, who won 10 of 14 games on the way to the title.
But the Red Rose were the only side Essex did not beat in 2017, and they dominated the opening round clash at Chelmsford only to be denied a win on the last day by a rearguard Dan Lawrence century.
“We had a very tough game against Lancs down at Chelmsford last year,” admitted Essex skipper Ryan ten Doeschate.
“We’re looking forward to having them back to show that we’re a far better side than that first game of the season.”
And does the fact that Essex had their opening round match against Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley abandoned without a ball bowled give Livingstone and co an advantage?
“Naturally, that would be the assumption,” admitted ten Doeschate. “We also missed out in our friendly at Cambridge and haven't been outside much.
“But they come into the game on the back of a defeat.
“The one game we had in Barbados (MCC champions county game) didn't go to plan, but everyone is training nicely. We’re raring to go, and we’ll be absolutely fine.”
Lancashire have only ever lost one Championship match at Chelmsford, back in June 1935, with other away defeats coming at places such as Leyton, Clacton-on-Sea, Brentwood, Southend, Ilford and Colchester.
Their last away Championship defeat against Essex came at Ilford in 1992, and they have since won five at Chelmsford and drawn three. They also drew at Colchester in 2001.
Their last win at Chelmsford came in 2013 when, in Division Two, they won by an innings and 105 runs and bowled the hosts out for just 20 in their second innings.
Current coach Glen Chapple took 5-9 and Kyle Hogg 4-11. Lancashire achieved promotion that season.
Former Red Rose overseas bowler Peter Siddle will debut for Essex this weekend.
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