Match Preview: Warwickshire vs Lancashire
Warwickshire v Lancashire
Royal London One-Day Cup, North Group
Saturday 4 May, 11am
Lancashire are on a roll and are heading towards knockout qualification in a List A competition for the first time since 2012, when the Clydesdale Bank 40 was in operation.
Lancashire lost to Warwickshire in an Emirates Old Trafford semi-final that year, their opponents at Edgbaston tomorrow.
The Red Rose have won their last five Royal London group games to sit on 10 points from seven games.
Following today’s abandonment between fellow challengers Notts and Durham at Grantham, Lancs know that a win at Edgbaston will put them top of the group, at least temporarily, with Notts and Durham still to play one more time.
Warwickshire are already out of contention after a disappointing campaign has seen them only win once.
Liam Hurt’s dislocated right knee cap sustained whilst batting against Derbyshire, his knee twisted underneath him as he looked to hit former team-mate Mark Watt for six, means he has been ruled out.
That opens up the prospect of Jimmy Anderson returning to the side, or even Stephen Parry as a second spinner alongside Matthew Parkinson. Richard Gleeson has also been included in the squad, after bowling in the Second XI this week following injury.
Liam Livingstone returns from the IPL on Sunday.
In a log-jam race for qualification, the Bears are one of the few teams to already be out of contention following a run of only one win in six games, including four defeats.
They tied with Yorkshire at Edgbaston and beat rivals Worcestershire at New Road.
Captained by Jeetan Patel, Sam Hain is their leading run-scorer with 301 and has a stunning career average of 58, up there amongst the very best averages in the world in the history of List A cricket.
New Zealand off-spinner Patel leads the way wickets wise for the Midlanders having claimed 13.
Young fast bowler Henry Brookes is one to really keep an eye on.
Rain forced the abandonment of last May’s clash between the two sides at Blackpool following only 8.2 overs of play.
The clash had already been reduced to a 49 overs per side contest, and the Red Rose, having been inserted, were 50-1 with Keaton Jennings 23 not out and Alex Davies 22.
Davies was the only wicket to fall, but not before he had passed 1,000 career List A runs. Henry Brookes got him with what turned out to be the last ball of the day.
Persistent rain forced the abandonment of the game at 4.50pm.
WHAT THEY SAID
Keaton Jennings has spoken of the key reason why he believes Lancashire are closing in on knockout cricket in the Royal London one-day Cup, something they haven’t done in seven years in List A cricket.
“Look, I think we are nailing the critical moments,” said the Durham man, who hit 84 in yesterday’s win over Derbyshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
“The critical moment against Derby was the first eight or nine overs of their chase (240) with the new ball, and we nailed it. We didn’t allow them to get away.
“Touch wood, we can keep doing it.
“We didn’t do it last year, or even perhaps the Worcestershire game (opening day of this season’s competition).
“It’s in our hands now. We need to make sure we play some good cricket on Saturday and win, then see what next weeks holds.
“You’ve always got to be aware of the wounded dog (Warwickshire).
“No side is easy, and they have some outstanding players. You have guys in there who have played a lot of Test Matches and internationals.
“If we take it for granted, it could bite us on the backside.”
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