Match Preview: Durham vs Lancashire
Durham v Lancashire
Royal London One-Day Cup, North Group
South Northumberland CC, Gosforth
Tuesday April 30, 11am
Three wins on the spin, and Lancashire are in the all important top three places in the North Group. Now they head to Durham’s Newcastle outground aiming to strengthen their qualification hopes against a main rival.
Not since 2012 when this competition was played across 40 overs per side have the Red Rose advanced beyond the group stages.
But some stunning form from Saqib Mahmood, who has taken eleven wickets in the last two games against Northants and Leicestershire, has given them a real chance.
Notts sit top of the group with five wins from five (10 points), while Durham are second with four wins from five (eight points), including beating Derbyshire at Emirates Riverside yesterday.
Lancashire and Worcestershire are level (six points) having won three from five, but the Red Rose are ahead courtesy of net run-rate, the second separator after most wins should teams be tied on the same points.
You would think the winner of this clash will be in pole position to advance.
The top team in each group advances straight to a home semi-final early next month.
They would play the winners of two elimination matches.
Second in the North plays third in the South at home and second in the South plays third in the North at home.
Glenn Maxwell plays for the final time in this competition.
He will return to Australia - Brisbane to be precise - for a national training camp ahead of the World Cup in England late next month.
Maxwell will be replaced by Jake Lehmann, son of Darren, from Thursday’s game against Derbyshire at Emirates Old Trafford onwards.
Matthew Parkinson damaged the webbing between the thumb and first finger on his left hand whilst bowling during yesterday’s win over Leicester, but is available for selection.
Durham have made a healthy start to this competition, winning four of their five games so far.
Australian overseas signing and captain Cameron Bancroft started the competition with back-to-back centuries, including a best of 151 not out in beating Northamptonshire at Emirates Riverside.
Bancroft, Michael Richardson and former Yorkshire captain Alex Lees have formed the bedrock of their batting line-up, while homegrown seamers Matty Potts and Brydon Carse have been their standouts with the ball.
There is a new management team at the North East county, with Australian former Lancashire batsman Marcus North their director of cricket and ex-New Zealand international James Franklin their coach.
Durham finished bottom of the North Group last year with two wins from eight games.
A magnificent career best 147 from Alex Davies set up Lancashire’s thumping 192-run victory at Emirates Old Trafford last May.
The Red Rose won their first group game at the second attempt, and it was their highest winning margin runs wise since 1992.
The hosts, who elected to bat, racked up 314-7 from their 50 overs, with Davies and ex-Jet Keaton Jennings (73) sharing an opening stand of 175 inside 29 overs.
That Lancashire didn’t get a higher total was a surprise, but Durham responded well as opening bowlers Nathan Rimmington and James Weighell shared five wickets.
Davies’s maiden one-day century came off 88 balls, and he finished with the highest List A total by a Red Rose batsman at Old Trafford.
In reply, Durham were bowled out for 122 inside 32 overs, with each of Lancashire’s five-man attack, Tom Bailey, Joe Mennie, Stephen Parry, captain Liam Livingstone and Matthew Parkinson all striking twice.
WHAT THEY SAID
Wicket-taking wizard Saqib Mahmood insists a huge part of Lancashire’s recent success in the competition has been staying in the moment.
Mahmood and the Red Rose are heading in the right direction in terms of knockout qualification after three successive wins over Yorkshire, Northants and Leicestershire, but the players are not thinking like that.
Instead, it is just one game at a time.
“We’re not looking too far ahead, and when someone does look down the line they get reminded pretty quickly!” said Mahmood, who claimed six wickets against Northants and five against Leicester.
“It’s Durham first.
“They’re going well this year. It’s an outground, so we’ll see what challenges that has.
“We’ll go up there, play our cricket and look at the other games after that.
“If you look too far ahead, you forget what you’re doing in the moment. Before you know it, it catches up with you. It’s working out well for us so far.”
After Durham, Lancashire return to Emirates Old Trafford to face Derbyshire on Thursday before rounding off their group campaign against Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Saturday.
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