MATCH PREVIEW: Nottinghamshire vs Lancashire
MATCH PREVIEW: Nottinghamshire vs Lancashire
Nottinghamshire v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship
Friday 11 - Monday 14 May, 2018
Lancashire are getting there, without doubt.
After a disappointing start to the season, losing their first two Specsavers County Championship matches, the Red Rose have had the better of the last two against Surrey and Somerset at Emirates Old Trafford, making final day bids to win.
Unfortunately, in both cases, the visitors held on for draws.
It means Lancashire head to Trent Bridge to face Division One leaders Nottinghamshire tomorrow still searching for their first win.
But the signs are good, and you wouldn’t bet against them getting it, even though Notts are in excellent form at the moment.
They have won three and lost one following promotion last season, including victory at Old Trafford in the season’s opening week last month.
This clash sees England’s Test Match new ball pair Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad go head to head before the two-match series against Pakistan later this month.
Anderson plays his second and final match prior to the start of England’s international summer, while Broad plays for the third and final time.
Alex Davies’s thumb injury should not prevent him playing, although he may hand wicketkeeping duties over to Dane Vilas as a precaution.
Vilas took the gloves for the majority of last weekend’s Somerset draw.
That means Lancashire could well field the same team.
Notts captain Steven Mullaney, the former Red Rose all-rounder, says he should be fit enough to bowl if required having recovered from a side injury which has ensured he has played the last three games solely as a batting skipper.
Notts have enjoyed a superb start to the new season.
Promoted last year under coach Peter Moores, he stepped up from a coaching consultancy role to also help them win the two white ball trophies in 2017.
And they have maintained that momentum to set the pace in Division One, sparked by some excellent form for England fringe seamer Jake Ball.
He is the division’s leading wicket-taker with 25 from four matches, two ahead of Yorkshire’s Ben Coad.
Ball took nine in the match when Notts won at Old Trafford last month, putting a frustrating winter behind him when he played in the first Ashes Test at Brisbane in November, took one wicket, was left out and didn't feature again.
Mullaney hit a second-innings 130 in their most recent win over Hampshire, with Broad taking three wickets in each innings.
Notts have won 10 of their last 18 Championship matches dating back to start of last season, losing only two.
LAST TIME OUT:
Notts best Lancashire by six wickets at Emirates Old Trafford last month, chasing only 10 on the final morning
As aforementioned, Jake Ball was their star in tandem with fellow seamer Harry Gurney, who claimed 6-25 in the second innings as Lancashire were bowled out for just 73, losing all 10 wickets for 24.
Twelve wickets fell for 25 runs on day four, with Notts losing four as they chased, in a quite remarkable finish.
We have to go back to early July 2016 for the last time these two met in the Championship at Trent Bridge.
Lancashire were bowled out for 276 in the first innings, including Tom Smith’s 70. Notts then replied with 474 as Jake Libby, Samit Patel and Riki Wessels all scored half-centuries.
Thankfully, the Red Rose were able to nullify the hosts’ victory bid with a second-innings 304-7, with Haseeb Hameed’s 122 marking his second four-day century in three matches as part of a stunning breakthrough campaign.
WHAT THEY SAID:
No doubt about it, Lancashire have Jimmy Anderson in their ranks at one of his favourites venues.
Anderson has an impressive record at Trent Bridge, taking 67 first-class wickets at just 18.58 apiece, his best average at any ground where he has taken more than 25 wickets. That haul includes eight hauls of five wickets or more with two 10-wicket match hauls.
Sixty of those wickets have come in Tests at Trent Bridge, while his Test best score of 81 came there against India in 2014.
When reminded of that record, Lancashire coach Glen Chapple smiled and simply said “Good” before going on: “Jimmy got a game in against Somerset, got plenty of overs in and bowled pretty well. It takes a bit of time to get right back to your best in match conditions, and hopefully that sees him back to where he wants to be.”
On the game in general, he added: “We go into it with confidence that we’re playing good cricket.
“Notts were a good team when they went down (in 2016), let’s be honest about it. Everyone knows good teams can go down. They came up strongly and are playing good cricket. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything more to be scared of than against anybody else.
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