Parkinson aiming for bigger red ball role
Lancashire's leg-spinner is aiming to turn his Vitality Blast form into red ball success in Lancashire's quest for promotion back to Division One
Matthew Parkinson is targeting an increased presence in Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship team, both in the short and long term.
Parkinson was handed his first-team cap on Friday night, with the 22-year-old leg-spinner describing it as “a moment I’ve dreamed of since I first played for Lancashire when I was 10-years-old”.
His form in both white-ball formats during the past two seasons has been outstanding.
In the past two years of domestic 50-over and T20 cricket, he has taken a combined 71 wickets and counting. Prior to that, he had impressed with the white ball for the England Lions.
He is currently the joint third leading wicket-taker in the ongoing Vitality Blast with 16, but he has only played one Championship match so far this summer, owing much to the domination of the county’s seamers.
That came against Sussex at Emirates Old Trafford last month when he claimed a career-best match haul of 10 for 165 to help secure victory for the Division Two leaders.
It would therefore be a surprise if he missed out on the top versus second clash against Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay, starting on Sunday.
When discussing whether he was happy with his career development so far, on the back of his cap presentation, the Boltonian said: “Yes and no.
“I’m very pleased with how the white ball’s gone, but I would like to have played a lot more red ball.
“Conditions have dictated that this year, but that’s an ambition of mine in the next few years - to play more red ball cricket for the county.
“It has been frustrating (this year). I’ve had this discussion a lot, and it’s one of those where it’s no one’s fault.
“The conditions have dictated, and it’s tough to play a leg-spinner when games are ending on day three.
“Apart from the last game against Sussex, you’re more often than not picked to bowl on days three and four. But the games haven’t been going that long.
“That’s testament to the seam bowling unit. Jimmy Anderson, Richard Gleeson, Graham Onions, Saqib Mahmood and Tom Bailey have been outstanding.
“But I’ve kept up some decent form when possible in the seconds and thankfully took my chance against Sussex.
“I would have liked to play more in April and May, but my thinking was always to target the last five or six games knowing that we’ve got three at Emirates Old Trafford at the back end, including Sussex last month.”
Lancashire are enjoying a fine season.
Semi-finalists in the Royal London One-Day Cup, they are top of Division Two in the Championship and leading the North Group in the Blast.
Prior to Glamorgan, they have Blast games against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road on Wednesday and Birmingham at Old Trafford on Friday. They are three points clear at the top having won five of nine games, only losing one.
Parkinson said: “We have all bases covered and don’t fear anyone.
“Having James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell helps that out no end. But the local lads have been performing as well.”
Then onto the Championship. They hold a 28-point lead over second-placed Glamorgan with four games remaining and are 41 clear of fourth-placed Northants in the race for promotion.
A win against the Welshmen would all but seal an immediate return to Division One.
“You’d think so,” added Parkinson. “We’ve had a great start - 10 games in and the lads have done brilliantly. It’s been similar to the T20. It’s been a real team effort.
“The bowlers have shone again as they did last year, but the batsmen will be pleased as well.”
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