PREVIEW: Yorkshire v Lancashire
Match Preview: Yorkshire v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship
Read our match preview ahead of the Specsavers County Championship Roses clash against Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley.
Yorkshire v Lancashire
Monday 10 September - Thursday 13 September (10.30am)
Lancashire head across the Pennines to play their penultimate Championship match of 2018, and they really need a victory.
The Red Rose are sixth in Division One, one point above second-bottom Yorkshire, who occupy one of the two relegation places.
Yorkshire, however, have three games left, starting with this blockbuster clash. In fact, Lancashire are the only team in the thick of the relegation battle with only two fixtures remaining.
Last week’s heart stopping tie against Somerset at Taunton has given them significant hope, and a win against a White Rose side who are wobbling would leave them in a very healthy position ahead of a free week in the schedule and then their final clash with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher has described the clash as a “48-pointer”.
The hosts drew their last match against Notts at Trent Bridge last week, ending a run of two defeats.
It seems highly unlikely Yorkshire will produce a spinner’s pitch this week, leaving Glen Chapple and Liam Livingstone contemplating a change to last week’s Taunton team, with Matthew Parkinson a likely omission.
The White Rose have just released Azeem Rafiq, believe Karl Carver is not quite up to speed for first-team cricket and are coaxing new signing Josh Poysden into rhythm. They went with an all seam attack in their last home match against Somerset, a defeat.
Lancashire have signed Northants bowler Richard Gleeson, the Blackpool-born quick who has progressed through to England Lions cricket.
Gleeson could debut this week, although he will not be available for T20 Finals Day having not played for the Lightning in the group stage.
Jordan Clark’s hamstring continues to be assessed, with one eye on T20 Finals Day on Saturday.
Yorkshire will welcome back club captain Steve Patterson from three games out with a broken finger.
Yorkshire have had a season they will want to forget.
What could go wrong seemingly has done, with injuries, England call-ups, Adil Rashid’s ‘Will I play red ball cricket, won’t I?’ saga all contributing to a lack of results in Championship and T20 Blast cricket. They did reach the RL50 semi-final, however.
Take away those issues, the players available to them haven’t performed as they would have liked, with them only winning three of eleven matches so far. The last of those came against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford at the end of July.
They drew at Notts last week, with their first-innings 448 their highest score since May 2016. Gary Ballance and Tom Kohler-Cadmore both hit centuries.
Yorkshire have employed five different captains in eleven Championship matches.
Jordan Clark took one of cricket’s greatest hat-tricks on day one, removing Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow, but it wasn’t enough for Lancashire to avoid defeat at Emirates Old Trafford in late July.
Yorkshire won inside three days by 118 runs.
They posted 192 in their first innings having won the toss before bowling Lancashire out for 109.
The visitors slipped to 21-3 second time around, including Jimmy Anderson getting Root caught behind. But Jonny Bairstow (81) and Harry Brook (55) shared 133 for the fourth wicket to push them towards 239 and a target of 323.
Lancashire slipped to 110-5 towards the end of day two, but Jos Buttler hit 59 and shared 80 with Tom Bailey (45) to revive hopes, only for the former to be caught at leg slip off Root’s off-spin in the penultimate over of the day.
The hosts were ultimately bowled out for 204 early on day three, with a Root claiming four wickets for five runs in all.
WHAT THEY SAID
Captain Liam Livingstone has no doubt his team will continue to fight for their lives at the foot of Division One after hailing their efforts in grabbing a tie from the jaws of defeat at Taunton last week.
Livingstone has also revealed his return from a broken thumb last week was ahead of schedule, and he is delighted to be back in the thick of the action.
“The points were massive,” he said of the eleven gained at Taunton.
“Last week was a massive week for us, and we have another coming up.
“The position we’re in and the position of the game, it would have been easy for us to take a step back and let the game drift away. But that’s not the way we roll. The lads battled so hard.”
Livingstone broke his thumb whilst fielding in the slips during the aforementioned home Roses clash in July, and there were fears he would miss the remainder of the season.
But the England hopeful went under the knife in a bid to be fit for the final weeks of the campaign.
He added: “I wasn’t expecting to play before Finals Day at the very earliest. But, luckily, the surgery has helped it, and I’ve recovered quite quickly.”