MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning vs Derbyshire Falcons
Lancashire v Derbyshire, Vitality Blast, North Group
Saturday July 14, 2018
Emirates Old Trafford, 2.30pm.
Lancashire responded perfectly to last week’s opening night defeat against early North Group pacesetters Worcestershire, winning their next two games in handsome fashion.
Now, can they keep it going tomorrow?
The Lightning are aiming to do the double over the Falcons after last Friday’s nine-wicket victory at the 3aaa County Ground. An eight-wicket win over Northamptonshire at home followed two days later.
Derbyshire play this evening. They face East Midlands rivals Nottinghamshire at home. Last year’s quarter-finalists have currently played two, lost two so far.
Given things went so well against Northants, it would be no surprise to see Glen Chapple and Liam Livingstone field the same side.
Derbyshire are much changed from the team which reached last year’s quarter-finalists, and that includes a significant departure off the field in cricket consultant Kim Barnett, who left the club recently having effectively been their director of cricket.
On the field, they have two new overseas seamers in Lockie Ferguson from New Zealand and Wahab Riaz from Pakistan.
A third international quick in ex-West Indies seamer Ravi Rampaul is in the midst of his first season at the club.
They have also signed Scottish internationals Calum MacLeod and Safyaan Sharif as well as youngsters Anuj Dal and Matt McKiernan, who has played for Lancashire Second XI before.
Unfortunately for them, an another ex-Red Rose player Luis Reece, a star of last year’s Blast, is out injured with a broken metatarsal, suffered during the recent Royal London one-day Cup.
Lancashire won last Friday’s meeting in scintillating fashion as Liam Livingstone’s maiden T20 century helped them reel in a target of 162 with nine wickets in hand and 33 balls remaining.
Toby Lester was the pick of the Lightning bowlers on debut with 1-10 from three overs of left-arm seam, while James Faulkner and Jordan Clark struck as the Falcons struggled to recover from 21-2 and could only post 161-4 thanks to Wayne Madsen’s unbeaten 76.
In reply, Livingstone walloped 100 off 51 balls as he and Alex Davies, who impressed with 50 not out, shared 161 for the first wicket.
Captain Livingstone smashed seven sixes, the most by a Lightning batsman in a T20 innings.
WHAT THEY SAID:
After hitting an unbeaten 50 against Derbyshire, Alex Davies backed it up against Northants on Sunday as he led the pursuit of 124 with 64 not out off 43 balls.
It has been an excellent start to the Blast for a player who missed out last summer as a previous knee injury was managed.
He’s certainly making up for lost time!
“That’s my aim, massively,” he said.
“I missed out last year through injury and the medical staff ruling me out. So I’m determined to cash in and nail my place down.”
Davies added: “The last two games is how we want to go about our cricket. The first game (against Worcester), we were rusty and off the pace.
“We batted well, but we didn't bowl well and field how we’d like. It was probably a good wake up call. Hopefully now we’re back on it.”
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