MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire vs Durham
Lancashire v Durham
Specsavers County Championship, Division Two
Sunday 30 June - Wednesday 3 July, 11am
Here’s a quiz question for you, with the answers provided at the bottom of this preview.
Sedbergh School will become Lancashire’s 13th first-class venue used since 1864. Can you name the other 12?
The Cumbrian boarding school, which regularly hosts Cumberland Minor Counties matches, becomes Lancashire’s first new home ground in almost 35 years and only their third new home ground since the Second World War.
Buoyant Lancashire head north bidding to regain their place at the top of Division Two after an unbeaten start to their Championship campaign (four wins, three draws).
The Red Rose were knocked off the top by Glamorgan this week, only because they have had a free week whilst the Welshmen were beating Gloucestershire. However, their lead is only a point, and the Red Rose have a game in hand having only played seven times.
They face a Durham side who secured their second win in seven against Sussex at Hove this week, winning by 196 runs to climb from bottom place (10th) to eighth in the division.
Keaton Jennings and Graham Onions will come up against their former county having left Emirates Riverside at the end of the 2017 season.
With outgrounds usually taking spin, it would be no surprise to see Matthew Parkinson come in for his first Championship appearance of the campaign. Then it depends which way Glen Chapple and Dane Vilas decide to go in terms of rest and rotation with their plethora of seamers.
Tom Bailey has been ruled out of the game through injury. An update will be provided tomorrow when the squad for Sedbergh is announced.
After a difficult start to the season, Durham, who will no doubt bring a good following to Sedbergh for this match, have improved and are unbeaten in the last three games, winning two.
They beat Derbyshire at Emirates Riverside and then drew at home to Northamptonshire before their Sussex victory.
Captain and overseas Cameron Bancroft, the fringe Australia Test batsman, and opening partner Alex Lees are leading their batting line-up with 376 and 444 runs respectively.
Both scored centuries against Sussex last week, and former Yorkshire left-hander Lees has two to his name in 2019, excluding in 50-over cricket. He scored a ton in the RL50 defeat to the Red Rose at South Northumberland earlier in the campaign.
Seam bowling all-rounder Ben Raine is one to keep an eye on (246 runs and 22 wickets), as is experienced new ball seamer Chris Rushworth, who has 33 wickets to his name.
Durham are coached by former New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin, while Australian ex-Lancashire overseas batsman Marcus North, who was with the Red Rose in 2005, is their Director of Cricket.
It was almost three years ago when these two last met in Championship cricket, at sunny Southport when both sides were in Division One. And Durham won a thriller which saw England team-mates Jimmy Anderson and Ben Stokes come face to face.
Keaton Jennings and Graham Onions even played for the visitors, while after the match the Durham team played cricket on the outfield with local children.
A low-scoring affair saw Lancashire, who elected to bat, concede a first-innings lead of 87 after Durham, for whom Scott Borthwick and Paul Collingwood posted fifties, total 291.
Anderson was subbed out of the game by England after the first innings and was replaced by Nathan Buck. It proved crucial to the outcome of the game.
A superb 122 from Luke Procter gave the Red Rose more than a fighting chance, with their second-innings 333 setting a 247 target at the start of day four.
Unfortunately for the Red Rose, despite Tom Smith putting his back injury nightmare briefly behind him with a brilliant 5-25, Durham survived the loss of five for 25 to stumble from 170-2 to 195-7, including Jennings falling for 82.
Stokes hit an important 36 and youngster Adam Hickey 21 not out to help seal a two-wicket win after tea.
WHAT THEY SAID
Graham Onions was a young nipper coming through the Durham ranks during Martin Speight’s final year as a county professional, in 2001.
A wiry 18-year-old fast bowler, Onions was playing local league cricket for Durham’s Academy and made his second-team debut for the county where he made his name and will come up against this week.
Speight is now the Director of Cricket at Sedbergh School, aged 51. Onions, 36-years-old, shows no signs of slowing up and just last week took his 700th career first-class wicket.
The pair never actually played together in a Durham shirt, but they have got to know each other well over the years.
“I remember Bunny from when he first turned up in club cricket in Durham,” said Speight.
“His pursuit of giving 100 percent no matter what is what’s made him. He’s a tireless worker. He’s always been very talented, don’t get me wrong. He has always hit the pitch hard. He may have lost a bit of that now, but he’s still a very fine bowler, as he’s showing with Lancashire.
“Seven hundred wickets is a very big achievement given the amount and different types of cricket they play nowadays. The workloads for fast bowlers are significant.
“But, most importantly, he’s a great lad as well - a really engaging character. It’s been great to see the success he’s had. I’m looking forward to catching up with him.”
Ahead of the meeting with his former county, Keaton Jennings added: “I’m still friendly with a lot of their guys and stay in touch.
“It will be an interesting game. There will be a few digs, I hope. I’m really looking forward to it.
"Durham’s a club which has given me a foundation for my career, albeit a lot of the staff have changed. But hopefully myself and Bunny can put in big performances for Lancs, our new home.”
Answers to Lancashire’s grounds, complete with the year of hosting its first match: Emirates Old Trafford (1864), Liverpool - Edge Hill (1866), Whalley (1867), Rochdale - Castleton (1876), Liverpool - Aigburth (1881), Blackpool (1905), Lancaster (1914), Nelson (1925), Blackburn - East Lancs (1932), Preston (1936), Southport (1959), Lytham (1985), Sedbergh School (2019).
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