PREVIEW: Lancashire v Yorkshire
Lancashire v Yorkshire, Specsavers County Championship
Sunday July 22 - Wednesday July 25, 2018
Emirates Old Trafford, 11am
We meet again. Two days after the thrilling Vitality Blast clash between these two old foes, now it’s the turn of the Championship to take centre stage, with the England stars available once more.
While last night’s Blast clash was a top of the table affair, which Lancashire won by one run defending 177 in 14 overs, unfortunately this one is a bit different given both sides’ early season struggles with the red ball.
Lancashire are sixth in Division One and Yorkshire seventh.
Lancashire are three points better off with one win from eight, but they have played a game more than Yorkshire, who have won two from seven.
Last time out at the end of June, the White Rose were beaten by seven wickets against leaders Surrey at Scarborough, while Lancashire drew a home game with Hampshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire welcome back Jimmy Anderson and Jos Buttler ahead of England’s Test series against India.
Captain Liam Livingstone and Matthew Parkinson also return having missed that most recent draw with Hampshire at the end of June due to England Lions duty.
Yorkshire have their Test stars Jonny Bairstow and England captain Joe Root available, while Lions seamer Matthew Fisher misses out on the chance to make his first Championship appearance of 2018 due to a toe injury.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson plays his first of three Championship matches in a short-term overseas stint. Yorkshire have signed Warwickshire leg-spinner Josh Poysden on a one-match loan to play.
Both counties have had similar seasons; struggling in the Championship and going well in the Blast. Yorkshire reached the semi-finals of the one-day Cup, however, to Lancashire’s group stage exit.
Yorkshire started the summer with a washed out draw with Essex at Emerald Headingley when not a ball was bowled due to late winter wet weather.
But they bounced back to beat Nottinghamshire at home and champions Essex at Chelmsford, the latter when they were bowled out for 50 in the first innings with Root and Bairstow available.
They have lost matches against Surrey twice and Somerset at Taunton, with their batting is an area of concern.
Their recruit of Poysden owes much to Adil Rashid’s insistence that he’s a white ball cricketer only and a lack of confidence in Azeem Rafiq and Karl Carver.
Yorkshire completed a 10-wicket victory to inflict a first Championship defeat of the season on Lancashire at Emerald Headingley last June.
Young seamer Ben Coad starred with six wickets as the Red Rose slipped to 48-6 and 123 all out having surprisingly opted against bowling first.
Adam Lyth then hit 100 in Yorkshire’s 273, including three wickets apiece for Jordan Clark and Saqib Mahmood.
No one reached 50 in Lancashire’s second-innings 209 before White Rose openers Lyth and Alex Lees chased 60 with ease.
Twenty two wickets of 30 wickets in the match fell to catches behind the wickets or in the slips and gully. Not one was bowled.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Captain Liam Livingstone, man-of-the-match in the Blast win with 79 off 37 balls, said: “We know we’re in a difficult situation in the Championship and that we have to forget about Twenty20 cricket for the moment.
“We have to focus on that. Hopefully we can take a little bit of momentum from winning games with that white ball into the red ball.
“(Will it be a challenge to switch formats?) Of course it will. You sort of get into a rhythm of playing T20 and want to carry on. It’s not easy to change back into Championship cricket. But we have to do it.
“It’s a massive game, and we know that.”