MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire vs Leicestershire Foxes
Lancashire v Leicestershire Foxes
Royal London One-Day Cup, North Group
Emirates Old Trafford
Sunday April 28, 11am
Lancashire have secured back-to-back wins over Yorkshire and Northamptonshire and believe they have the momentum which can carry them through to the knockout stages.
After two opening losses to Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire, the Red Rose won a thriller against the White Rose and then eased past Northants, the latter in a rain-affected game at Emirates Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Saqib Mahmood was the star of the show with a career best 6-37, and he went into the record books as only the fourth Lancashire player to achieve that feat in a List A match alongside Glen Chapple (twice), Colin Croft and David Hughes.
Lancashire need to finish in the top three places to secure qualification out of the group for the first time since 2012, when this competition was 40-overs a side.
Leicestershire have lost four of their five matches so far and are all but out of contention.
Richard Gleeson is available for selection for the first time this season after a back injury. He played second XI cricket last week.
Glenn Maxwell makes his final home appearance before heading back to Australia this week to begin preparations for the forthcoming World Cup.
Leicestershire will field a host of familiar faces to Red Rose fans.
Leicestershire suffered their fourth defeat to Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge yesterday and can be ruled out of contention for a knockout berth as a result, having failed to chase Notts' 433-7.
The Foxes’ only win came against Worcestershire a week ago when they amassed 377-4 at Grace Roadand defended it to win by 38 runs.
They are captained by Paul Horton and also have former Lancashire players Harry Dearden, Gavin Griffiths, Arron Lilley and Callum Parkinson in their ranks.
Even coach Paul Nixon, a Cumbrian, watched the Red Rose as a youngster, while seamer Dieter Klein has played in the Lancashire League.
Lancashire coasted to a nine-wicket win, their second in six North Group outings, at Oakham School late last May thanks largely to standout performances from Matthew Parkinson and captain Liam Livingstone.
After the visitors had opted to field, leg-spinner Parkinson’s 4-31 helped bowl Leicester out for 172 in the 50th over, although he couldn’t remove his twin brother Callum, who hit 20 to back up Mark Cosgrove’s 52.
Joe Mennie, Graham Onions and Stephen Parry all struck twice before Livingstone smashed seven sixes and six fours in an unbeaten 90 off 56 balls.
Livingstone dominated an unbroken 133 for the second wicket with Haseeb Hameed, who hit a 70-ball 55 as the visitors needed less than 26 overs of their chase to secure the two points.
WHAT THEY SAID
Australian overseas all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is confident Lancashire are on the right track to success in this season’s RL50.
Maxwell believes the Red Rose have now found a better balance to their team after picking Liam Hurt as a third specialist seamer for the last two games against Yorkshire and Northants, and he also feels the county were mightily unlucky not to win against Notts as they pursued 418 a couple of Fridays ago.
“We’ve started to find a bit of momentum through the middle of this tournament,” he said.
“The way we’ve set our team up, it has a bit better balance now.
“To have those three frontline seamers to go with our spin options, it gives us a bit more depth.
“To have Liam Hurt come in and perform well (against Yorkshire) has helped. It goes a long way to preventing those high totals.
“To come out on top in the way we did at Yorkshire, it can give a team a lot of confidence going forwards, and I felt like that happened against Northants.
“We were brilliant in all three facets of the game.
“Hopefully we can continue to improve.
“We felt like we were unlucky at Notts. A few things didn’t go our way, and we could have been three and one at this stage and it’s a different picture. People would really see us as a title threat.
“But two and two, we’re heading in the right direction.”
On Wednesday against Northants, Maxwell played his part in a stunning relay catch with Rob Jones on the deep mid-wicket boundary to help Saqib Mahmood remove dangerous West Indies captain Jason Holder, who had passed 50 and was striking the ball nicely heading into the last few overs of an innings which eventually saw the visitors bowled out for 269.
“I was a bit dirty at him (Jones),” smiled Maxwell.
“I was hoping he’d stay inside the rope and I could just flick it to him for an easy catch. But he followed me over the rope and had to dive back in to complete the catch.
“He put a bit of Mayo on it! (Aussie slang for exaggerating something).
“Seriously, to get his body back in and not touch the rope was an amazing effort because all of his body weight was going the other way.
“To manipulate his body, catch the ball in mid air and get the right side of the rope was brilliant.
“Those kind of things can change the momentum of the game.
“Holder was hitting the ball cleanly at that stage, so for Jonesy to take that catch was a way of stopping them going hard at the back end.”
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