MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning vs Durham Jets
PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning v Durham Jets
Lancashire v Durham, sponsored by Thomas Cook Sport
Tuesday 7 August, 2018
Emirates Old Trafford, 6.30pm
Thanks to our partner Thomas Cook Sport who are sponsoring this fixture.
Lancashire are looking to get back to winning ways after three games without a win.
The Lightning are still well placed to qualify for the quarter-finals by finishing in the top four in the North Group, but their progress has been stunted somewhat with a No Result and two defeats during the last eleven days.
Either side of a rained off clash with Worcestershire at New Road, they were beaten by Nottinghamshire away and Leicestershire at home.
The latter came on Friday when Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi blitzed a superb 86 not out off 32 balls to reel in a target of 191 when the game looked lost at 92-5 in the eleventh over.
Both Lancashire and Durham sit inside the North Group’s top four. Durham are second on 12 points from nine games and Lancashire fourth on 11 from nine.
Worcestershire are top on 15 from 10 and Yorkshire third on 12 from 10.
The top six teams in the group are separated by five points, so quarter-final qualification is anybody’s.
Jordan Clark comes back into the squad after recovering from injury, whilst Zahir Khan is named in the squad after joining until the end of the season.
Durham will be without South African overseas leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who has departed to play in the forthcoming Caribbean Premier League.
Tahir would have been a big danger on the spin-friendly pitches at Emirates Old Trafford. New Zealand batsman Tom Latham continues to be available, however, and captains.
Graham Clark should line up for the Jets at the top of their order against older brother Jordan.
Durham have been the surprise package in the North Group.
The Jets finished bottom of the table in 2016 with only three wins from 14 outings, but they have every chance of finishing top this summer.
Latham’s side have won six of their nine games, losing three. They were beaten last time out against Worcestershire on Friday and also recovered from losing their opening game against Yorkshire.
Openers Latham and Clark have been in excellent form, scoring 355 and 320 runs respectively, while veteran Paul Collingwood has contributed significantly in the middle order.
The Jets will no doubt miss Tahir, their leading wicket-taker with 15, but seam duo James Weighell and Nathan Rimmington have impressed with 13 and 12 victims respectively.
Prior to Friday’s defeat against Worcestershire at New Road, Durham had won four games on the bounce, including twice beating champions Nottinghamshire.
LAST TIME OUT
Liam Livingstone hit a career best 61, surprisingly one of only two Blast fifties at that point, as the Lightning ran out comfortable 31-run winners at Emirates Old Trafford late last July.
Livingstone, who has since added to that tally but misses tomorrow with a fractured thumb, underpinned Lancashire’s imposing 174-5, boosted by middle order thirties from Steven Croft and Ryan McLaren.
Durham were well placed at 77-2 in the eleventh over of their response, but they slipped badly as Jordan Clark, playing against his brother although not getting him out, took three wickets.
The Jets finished on 143-8, with no one bettering opener Cameron Steel’s 37.
Neither side qualified for the quarter-finals, but this season both could.
WHAT THEY SAID
Lancashire’s new signing Mark Watt debuted against Leicestershire on Friday, taking one wicket.
Watt has been playing second-team cricket for the Red Rose over the last month. He has been miserly in three T20 appearances and returned match figures of 6-82 in a Championship win over the MCC Young Cricketers.
And the Scotland left-arm spinner, who has signed until the end of the season, is looking forward to his stay at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old said: “It’s my first introduction to county cricket, and it’s nice to have the Red Rose instead of the Blue Thistle on for a change.
“It was just after the England ODI that Lancashire were quite keen and got me down playing in the second team. I’ve played a bit for the twos, done quite well and enjoyed it.
“It’s progressed into the first team.
“I’ve been playing for Scotland for about three years now. I’m fully contracted to the Scotland side. I’ve been to all parts of the world. It’s been a crazy couple of years.
“The (Lancashire) lads have been brilliant. They’ve just said ‘No pressure, go out and enjoy it’. That’s what I’m going to try and do.
“I’m a left-arm spinner. I don't turn it too much, but I have a few variations - change of pace. Batting, I just try and hit the ball. That’s all I really worry about!”
Watt has taken 44 wickets across 41 limited overs international appearances for his country since debuting in mid-2015.