Match Preview: Hampshire vs Lancashire
Hampshire vs Lancashire - Match Preview
Hampshire v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship
Monday September 24 - Thursday September 27, 10.30am
Lancashire head into their final game of the season requiring a sequence of results to go their way to avoid relegation from Division One.
The Red Rose need to beat mid-table Hampshire, who are already safe, ideally with the maximum haul of 24 points. They then require either Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire to slip up badly in their matches at Worcestershire and at home to Somerset respectively.
Assuming Lancashire get the 24-point haul, Yorkshire need two points at New Road to be safe. Notts need four to be playing top-flight cricket next year.
Speaking after their most recent defeat away against Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley, coach Glen Chapple accepted avoiding relegation is a long shot.
But the former all-rounder will not give up, knowing all too well stranger things have happened.
Lancashire have had a week off from action, alongside Notts, while all other teams around them played out their game in hand.
It is likely that Matthew Parkinson will come back into contention at the Ageas Bowl having missed two of the last three matches.
Click here for the squad
Hampshire veteran Jimmy Adams plays his last game before retirement.
Hampshire, a side who have flirted dangerously with relegation for the last two seasons prior to this and were in danger during the final week in both, are mathematically safe this year.
James Vince’s side won two games on the bounce earlier this month against Worcestershire and Somerset to pull clear of danger and drew a rain-affected clash with Yorkshire at Headingley last week, a game they were behind in.
Their new ball pace attack of ex-international duo Kyle Abbott and Fidel Edwards is a dangerous one, while Vince and Sam Northeast are the linchpins of an eye-catching top order alongside young openers Joe Weatherley and Oliver Soames.
Left-arm spinner Liam Dawson has just been recalled to England’s ODI squad ahead of next month’s series in Sri Lanka.
Hampshire have won four of 13 matches this summer compared to Lancashire’s two.
Lancashire and Hampshire played out a high-scoring draw at Emirates Old Trafford in late June, a match which included five centuries.
Both sides traded scores of 400 plus - Hampshire 451 and Lancashire 411.
Hampshire then slipped to 86-3 in their second innings early on day four, a lead of 126, to give Lancashire a glimmer of hope despite time ebbing away. But opener Joe Weatherley’s maiden hundred steered his side to 237-5 at close.
Earlier in the match, James Vince and Rilee Rossouw scored first-innings hundreds for Hampshire followed tons for Red Rose duo Alex Davies and Dane Vilas.
WHAT THEY SAID
New signing Richard Gleeson believes his best years are ahead of him after joining his home county from Northants earlier this month.
The 30-year-old fast bowler cut his teeth in county cricket at Wantage Road having worked as a cricket development officer and co-ordinator for the Lancashire Cricket Board on the Fylde Coast.
Gleeson, a Blackpool lad, has previously played age-group with Steven Croft at Stanley Park.
He debuted for Lancashire in the recent defeat at Yorkshire, encouraging with four wickets in the match, including three in the first innings.
Gleeson, who has signed a three-year contract at Emirates Old Trafford, played England Lions cricket last winter.
“It’s a huge club, and I was always a Lancashire fan as a kid,” he said. “I went down to Blackpool to watch the county games there, and it was a big part of the year for everyone there. It was an easy decision to come home.
“I’m a late developer in county cricket, and I’d like to think my best years are still to come.
“As a bowler, you probably peak a little bit later because it is such a skill which is developed over time.
“I’m confident I’ve still got plenty of years left ahead of me.
“I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the winter and getting properly fit.
“I’ve still not done a full pre-season yet. Last winter I had an operation on an ankle impingement, so I was rehabbing with that and then got called away with the Lions.
“The winter before, I went away to Bangladesh.
“I’ve done bits and pieces in the winter, but not a full winter training programme.”