PREVIEW: Outlaws v Lightning
MATCH PREVIEW: Outlaws v Lightning
Read the match preview ahead of the Notts Outlaws, v Lancashire Lightning Vitality Blast clash at Trent Bridge, with the Red Rose topping the North Group.
Nottinghamshire v Lancashire, Vitality Blast
Friday July 27, 2018
Trent Bridge, 6.30pm
Lancashire’s impressive pursuit of a quarter-final berth continues in the East Midlands tomorrow, where they take on reigning champions Nottinghamshire Outlaws, who also won last year’s Royal London one-day Cup.
The Lightning top the North Group with five wins from six, including five wins on the trot having lost on opening night to Worcestershire at Emirates Old Trafford.
They are in high spirits having beaten Roses rivals Yorkshire by one-run in a thriller last Friday.
Head Coach Glen Chapple believes they will only need four more wins from eight matches to secure a top four finish and a place in the last eight. But he obviously wants more given there is a home quarter-final on offer for a top two finish.
Notts are fourth in the table having won three and lost three of their six matches so far.
Lancashire will have to do without talismanic captain Liam Livingstone for the next six weeks after he fractured his left thumb whilst fielding in the slips on day one of the Roses Championship defeat on Sunday.
Dane Vilas will assume captaincy duties, while 2015 Blast winner Karl Brown and youngster Josh Bohannon, who has been opening with success in the seconds, will come into contention.
The Lightning will also be without England star Jos Buttler, who played against Yorkshire.
It could not have been a more mixed start to the competition for Notts and their captain Dan Christian with three wins and three defeats.
They lost on opening night to Birmingham at Trent Bridge, and have suffered further home defeats to Durham and Leicestershire in their last two outings.
Sandwiched in between, they won three away matches on the spin against Northamptonshire, Leicester and Derbyshire. In the former, they racked up a score of 219-6, including 113 off 40 balls for Australian all-rounder Christian, who is joined as overseas player by New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
Both men won the Blast with the Outlaws last year as they beat Birmingham in the final.
Lancashire and Notts have not faced each other in the Blast since 2016 given last season’s fixture was washed out at Emirates Old Trafford in late July.
The Outlaws won at Trent Bridge in 2016 by two wickets with two balls to spare as they chased a 185 target, with fifties from openers Michael Lumb and Riki Wessels getting them off to a flyer.
Notts slipped from 143-2 in the 14th over to 168-8 in the 19th as George Edwards took three wickets.
The target became 15 off the last over, only for the Lightning to be docked six penalty runs for a slow over-rate.
Unfortunately, Arron Lilley couldn’t defend the nine as Sam Wood and Luke Fletcher got the hosts home.
Earlier, Jos Buttler hit 56 not out off 40 balls in Lancashire’s 184-4. Lancashire did not qualify for the quarter-finals that year.
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Glen Chapple said: “To be where we are in the competition says a lot. It’s been a fantastic effort, but we have to push on.
“The other night (Yorkshire) was an absolute nail-biter, but a fantastic evening which should inspire everyone to go on in the competition.
“To win a close one like that is good for belief when it comes down to it.
“One of our problems earlier in the season was that we were either winning (50-over) games comfortably or losing close ones. The quality was there, but we’ve started to win close ones.
“I think nine (wins) would be a safe target. Eight went through last year. We’d like to think from where we are now we could achieve more than that.
“Notts form has been up and down, but every team is dangerous. They are certainly dangerous at Trent Bridge.
“Nobody’s going to be crazy enough to say losing Liam isn't a big blow because he’s been in great form of late.
“But we’ll still be putting a strong team out on Friday night, and that’s what we’ll focus on as well as the quality of cricket we’ve been playing."