MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire vs Hampshire
Lancashire v Hampshire, Specsavers County Championship Division One
Monday June 25, 2018
Emirates Old Trafford
Lancashire face a pivotal clash in their Championship campaign.
This, their eighth match of 14, comes on the back of successive defeats to Essex at home and Worcestershire away, the latter which finished yesterday.
They have now lost four of their seven matches, and are unfortunately scrapping at the wrong end of the table rather than challenging at the top.
Worcestershire were bottom and Hampshire are also languishing, meaning a win is crucial.
This is the last of three Championship fixtures before the near month-long break for the first half of this summer’s Vitality Blast.
Hampshire drew their most recent match against Yorkshire at the Ageas Bowl yesterday, played with the pink ball under floodlights. They had the better of that fixture.
The first day of this match will begin at 12pm following the staging of the ODI at Old Trafford tonight. The rest of the fixture will revert to the usual 11am start time.
Lancashire continue to be without England Lions duo Liam Livingstone and Matthew Parkinson, who are involved in a one-day tri-series with the A teams of India and the West Indies.
They will also be without overseas fast bowler Joe Mennie, who suffered concussion in the Worcester defeat and was substituted out, to be replaced by Danny Lamb for the rest of the game.
ECB rules state that a player suffering from concussion must be symptom free for a week prior to his return to cricket.
Hampshire have struggled so far this season, winning only one of their seven matches, although they did have the better of their draw against Yorkshire and were chasing victory during yesterday’s final day.
They will have South African Test fast bowler Dale Steyn available as their overseas for the last of three Championship matches. He took a first-innings five-for against the White Rose.
They also have ex-international seamers Fidel Edwards and Kyle Abbott in their attack, while they will be captained by England fringe batsman James Vince.
Like Lancashire, Hampshire have been hit by Lions duty and will be without Liam Dawson.
Hampshire will also have one eye on Saturday’s Royal London one-day Cup final against Kent at Lord’s.
After Lancashire won the home clash against Hampshire by an innings last June, the teams played out a rain-affected draw at the Ageas Bowl in early August.
Lancashire, who elected to bat, were bowled out for 149, including three wickets for now injured leg-spinner Mason Crane (back problem).
Hampshire then responded with 224 all out as Kyle Jarvis returned an excellent 6-61.
Fifteen wickets fell on the opening day amidst an entertaining first half of the match.
Lancashire recovered well in their second innings to reach 314-5, with Alex Davies striking a memorable 97 and opening partner Haseeb Hameed 77 not out.
Unfortunately, however, days three and four were washed out by rain.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Glen Chapple will tell his players to up their games when Hampshire visit Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow.
Coach Chapple has bemoaned Lancashire’s lack of consistency so far this season, and he has described this clash as “vital”.
“As we say, we know every team is strong. Worcester played good cricket on their home pitch, but if we get our performance level right we should be able to match most teams,” he said.
"We’ve already dominated games against some of the top teams this year, so there’s not much difference between each team.
“But we need to get some points and position ourselves better in the table.
“You need to keep your levels up for four days - simple as that. We will reinforce that. We can’t afford blips, errors in concentration or tactical mistakes like we saw at Worcester. We’ve got to iron those out and be smart.”