Match Preview: Lancashire vs Nottinghamshire
A buoyant Red Rose side head to the East Midlands targeting a second victory to chase down group leaders Derbyshire
Lancashire bounced back from their opening round defeat against Leicestershire in emphatic fashion earlier this week by dispatching Durham inside three days at Emirates Riverside.
Now they travel to Nottingham for their second ‘home’ fixture having opened up against Leicestershire as hosts at New Road almost a fortnight ago.
This fixture was the subject of a late switch to Trent Bridge in order to safeguard and protect the bio-security of Emirates Old Trafford as a host for behind-closed-doors international cricket this summer.
The Red Rose’s three-day win over Durham was a achieved on Monday by an innings and 18-run margin, with Josh Bohannon scoring a first-innings 75 and then Liam Hurt taking four wickets in Durham’s second innings.
Tom Bailey also reached 200 First-Class wickets in the game and there was a promising debut for Luke Wood, who returns to his former Club for the first time this weekend.
Dane Vilas and co claimed 22 points and now face a Notts side who have not won a First-Class fixture since June 2018, in which time they were relegated to Division One of the County Championship last September.
They were on course to break that run on Tuesday when they were handed a day four chase of 188 to beat Yorkshire at Trent Bridge, only to be bowled out for 97 inside 30 overs.
Lancashire were bolstered by the returning Liam Livingstone and Richard Gleeson in the North East and both are available to feature again in Nottingham.
Saqib Mahmood picked up a slight injury in the final One-Day International against Ireland and has taken longer than hoped to respond, so is not ready to resume four-day cricket. He will continue to train alongside the squad.
Leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson and new ball seamer Graham Onions are both absent injured, with Parkinson returning to bowl during the week at Chester Boughton Hall.
As was the case when Lancashire faced a Leicestershire side with a number of Red Rose links, there will be another reunion with some old friends this weekend.
Our 2011 Championship-winning coach Peter Moores remains in charge of a Notts side which also includes his son, Tom, the wicketkeeper-batsman who had a brief loan spell with Lancs in 2016.
In their defeat against Yorkshire, Tom posted a superb career best 106 in the first innings - only the 23-year-old’s second First-Class hundred.
Notts are skippered by ex-Red Rose all-rounder Steven Mullaney, who left Emirates Old Trafford ahead of 2010.
And Haseeb Hameed has been opening the batting for them in the opening two rounds of games having left Lancashire at the end of last summer. He posted two fifties in their opening round defeat against Derbyshire.
Notts will have played each of their first three games at Trent Bridge, losing the opener against Derby when the visitors chased down a target of 365 to win by three wickets.
They played two spinners - Matt Carter and Samit Patel - against the White Rose on the same pitch they faced Derbyshire on.
These two sides last met in May 2018, when Lancashire won by an innings and 67 runs inside three days at Trent Bridge.
A fabulous performance led to nine wickets in the match for Graham Onions and six for new ball partner Jimmy Anderson.
Keaton Jennings also hit a fine 126 with the bat in only his fifth County Championship appearance for the club since joining from Durham.
Lancashire gained revenge from an opening week defeat at Emirates Old Trafford.
Onions and Tom Bailey claimed three wickets apiece as Notts, invited to bat first, were bowled out for 133 inside only 48 overs.
Jennings then underpinned a strong response of 338 against an attack including Stuart Broad, with opening partner Alex Davies making 50.
Faced with a deficit of 205 later on during the second innings, they found Onions in no mood to let them off the hook. He dismissed Chris Nash and New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor for ducks on the way to 6-55 from 17.4 overs.
Like Jennings, Onions had only just arrived at Lancashire from Durham, and this was his fourth match.
Notts were bowled out for 138 second time around.
WHAT THEY SAID
Glen Chapple is targeting the perfect end to Lancashire’s North Group campaign to give them a chance of qualifying for the final of the Bob Willis Trophy.
The Red Rose coach was delighted with his side’s performance in victory at Durham and insists there can be no let up when they travel to their latest home away from home in the East Midlands.
Following this fixture, Lancashire also face Yorkshire at Emerald Headingley (22 August) and table-toppers Derbyshire at Liverpool (6 September).
“Realistically, we might have to win all three (of our remaining games) because only the two best winners of the groups get through,” he said.
“But we just want to play good cricket and keep winning games.
“It’s going to be a tough thing to achieve this season, but we just want to keep winning games.”
Coach Chapple, though, who spent more than a month in England’s bio-secure bubble as their bowling coach during the West Indies Test series, also has one eye on the bigger picture this summer.
Results are not the be all and end all, he says.
“With the two England camps that have been going on, you have to look at it as a period of time where we can give opportunities to players for the future,” he explained.
“And the ones we’ve seen play have applied themselves and acquitted themselves really well. That’s the most exciting thing.”
This is Lancashire’s second home game, both of which have been played in the Midlands.
“It’s slightly frustrating that we can’t have control of the pitch, but we’ll just have to crack on,” he added. “I’m sure we’re entitled to ask, but we’ll see how that goes!
“It’s more about getting on the park and enjoying playing your cricket.”