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Main Men: Leicestershire Foxes

Main Men: Leicestershire Foxes

Three-times winners Leicestershire Foxes have a rich history in Vitality Blast - and plenty of talent to boot in the current squad

Lancashire Lightning will be looking to make it two wins out of two as they travel to the Fischer County Ground on Saturday to take on Leicestershire.

The Red Rose’s first game of the campaign saw them put in a strong performance against Durham, where they posted their highest ever T20 score; the Foxes saw their opening game abandoned due to the poor conditions.

Weather proved a sticking point last year when the two came head to head, as there was no result in the first game between the sides in what was both team's first Vitality Blast 2019 outing.

In the return fixture, Lancashire were victorious when the pair met at Emirates Old Trafford, with a five-wicket victory to sign off the North Group campaign.

The 2019 season was one to forget for the three-times champions. After only winning three of their opening eight, and then only one in their last six, they finished in ninth place in the North group.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game, we take a closer look at three men for Leicestershire who could cause a threat.

MATCH PREVIEW

Colin Ackermann

Dutch international all-rounder, Colin Ackermann, was a key man for the Foxes last year and is undoubtedly the linchpin of their side with both bat and ball.

Having joined Leicestershire in 2016, the 29-year-old has proven to be a key player for the East Midlands outfit.

Throughout the 2019 season, the Club captain led the way with both bat and ball. In 13 Vitality Blast games last season, Ackermann top scored for the Foxes with 324 runs at an average of 28.

Meanwhile, he also finished joint top-wicket taker in the team, with 12 throughout the course of the campaign and an economy rate of 6.04.

The all-rounder will certainly be a threat to the Lightning batsmen, and last season posted the best bowling figures in T20 history as he took 7/18 against the Birmingham Bears.

Following a series of strong performances, including that seven-wicket haul, the Foxes captain signed a new three-year deal at the back-end of last year.

2019 also saw the 29-year-old make his international debut, helping the Netherlands to secure qualification for the T20 World Cup.

Arron Lilley

Former Lancastrian, Arron Lilley, has been a strong member of the Foxes squad since joining in 2018 and is a major threat against any side in the shortest format of the game. 

The 29-year-old knows what it's like to be successful in the Vitality Blast, having been part of the Lightning side that lifted the title back in 2015.

Along with Stephen Parry, the spinner played an important role in tying down the opposition as the pair both conceded less than seven runs an over.

Lilley has all-round skills. His 786 career T20 runs have come at a lofty strike rate of over 150 and his off-spin has seen him claim 43 wickets in his T20 career since making his debut in the format back in 2013.

Usually coming in at number three, he can hit a long ball inside the powerplay overs and is often relied upon to continue scoring at a quick pace should they lose an opening batsman in the first six overs.

Last year he also scored at over ten runs per over in overs 6-12, with a total of 240 throughout the course of the campaign.

Just three wickets over the course of last year's don't fully display his capabilities with ball in hand, either. A dangerous, match-winning player. 

Callum Parkinson

Twenty three-year-old, Callum Parkinson, has been leading the bowling line for Leicestershire across the last few seasons.

After taking 15 wickets throughout the course of the 2018 Vitality Blast season, with an economy rate of 7.69; he followed it up with 12 more last year.

Two of those came in the meeting against Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford, but he could not help his side to a victory.

In total, the slow left-armer has bowled a total of 42 wickets in 43 T20 games but has become an increasingly important part of Leicestershire's side in all formats over the last few years.

Having come through the Lancashire ranks at Age Group level, the bowler is very well known by some of the Lancashire players. His twin brother, of course, is Matt Parkinson.

Whilst the pair were both part of the Lancashire youth system, Callum ended up joining Derbyshire where he made his first senior appearance.

His move to the Fischer County Ground came in 2017, where he enjoyed an excellent debut campaign, picking up three trophies in the club’s End of Season Awards.

Parkinson is now a key player for the Foxes and certainly has the ability to halt Lancashire's momentum at any stage of the innings.

 
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