Match Preview: Lightning vs Outlaws
Saturday evening cricket under the lights at Emirates Old Trafford as the Outlaws come to town
Four wins from four and the Lightning are striking in spectacular fashion.
Last night’s win over Durham at Emirates Riverside, by five wickets with seven balls remaining chasing 140, took Lancashire to 10 points at the top of the North Group, with eight games still to play.
Next up are the 2017 champions Notts, who are third in the table with three wins and a No Result from their six matches.
They beat Birmingham Bears by 71 runs at Trent Bridge last night. Defending 185, they bowled the visitors out for just 113.
Tom Moores hit 69 off 38 balls before left-arm seamer Luke Wood and off-spinner Matthew Carter claimed three cheap wickets apiece.
With Carter, Samit Patel and Pakistani overseas spinner Imad Wasim in their side, they will prove a danger at Emirates Old Trafford in front of the Sky TV cameras.
With Lancashire going as well as they are, it would again be no surprise to see them stick with the same side for a fourth game running.
The 2017 champions have endured a difficult summer, primarily in the County Championship - they sit bottom of the table and have a mountain to climb to avoid relegation.
But Peter Moores’ side are very much in contention for a quarter-final place in the Vitality Blast.
Captained by veteran Australian Dan Christian in this format, they have also drafted in Pakistan left-arm spinner Imad Wasim as their second overseas player.
Welsh born Wasim has previously played in the Bolton League for Bradshaw.
Destructive opener Alex Hales is back in county colours having been left out of England’s World Cup squad on disciplinary grounds.
Experienced left-arm seamer Harry Gurney, now a white ball specialist, is looking to cap off a memorable 10 months with a Blast title.
Gurney helped Northern Warriors win the T10 League in Sharjah late last year before he conquered the Big Bash League for Melbourne Renegades in Australia.
The ex-Leicestershire man was also a part of Quetta Gladiators who won the Pakistan Super League before taking part in the IPL with Kolkata.
Beaten in last year’s quarter-finals, the Outlaws have plenty of talent with bat and ball - Ben Duckett, Sam Patel, ex-Lancs loanee Tom Moores and Joe Clarke to name a few.
Former Lancashire all-rounder Steven Mullaney, their four-day captain, is currently sidelined with a knee injury.
These two sides have only played each other once in each of the last five seasons, with Notts winning four of them (the other was rained-off).
They won last year’s clash - a rain-affected affair at Trent Bridge - by 16 runs on DLS as they successfully defending a target of 196-9, including 40 and 44 for middle order pair Billy Root and Jake Libby.
Notts had to recover from 56-4 in the sixth over, and left-arm seam pair Toby Lester and James Faulkner claimed three wickets apiece.
In reply, the Lightning lost wickets all too regularly, with opener Karl Brown’s 49 the top-score, and they were 139-8 when rain arrived after 15 overs.
Spinners Samit Patel and New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi claimed two wickets apiece.
WHAT THEY SAID
Liam Livingstone has hailed the impact of Matthew Parkinson on Lancashire’s excellent T20 form, describing the star leg-spinner as “basically the perfect bowler” to have playing at Emirates Old Trafford.
Parkinson, 22-years-old, claimed 25 wickets in last season’s Blast as the Lightning reached Finals Day. Only Worcester seamer Pat Brown took more wickets (28) in the whole competition.
This summer, he has taken 10 wickets in four outings, including five in two home appearances and 4-30 in last night’s win at Durham.
Livingstone also starred at Durham with 70 off 48 balls at the top of the order and said: “Teams can come to Old Trafford and try and take us on at our own game, but look at Parky - every game he plays no matter where it is, if he goes for more than 30 it’s very rare.
“We don’t underestimate the role he has in our team.
“He’s been phenomenal for two years now, and he just keeps delivering.
“It’s great for him to be able to have Old Trafford as his home ground because he’s basically the perfect bowler to have here.”
Buy your Vitality Blast tickets
Don’t forget to buy your tickets to watch Lancashire Lightning in the third home Vitality Blast fixture of the summer against Nottinghamshire Outlaws tonight.