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Match Preview: Durham vs Lancashire

Match Preview: Durham vs Lancashire

Durham v Lancashire
Royal London one-day Cup, Group A
Thursday August 5, 2021, 11am
Roseworth Terrace, Gosforth (South Northumberland CC)

Lancashire are looking to retune in the Toon.

The Red Rose met their first speed bump in Group A yesterday when narrowly beaten by Middlesex at Emirates Old Trafford as they chased 258 and finished on 251-9 with injured Keaton Jennings unable to bat.

It means they have lost top spot in the table, although Mark Chilton, Tom Bailey and co remain very well placed to reach the knockouts for the second successive year after the semi-final finish in 2019.

Tomorrow, they face a fellow contender in Durham in the Newcastle suburb of Gosforth.

While Lancashire are second with three wins from five games and seven points - they are a point behind leaders Essex - Durham are fourth with five points from four.

They have won two of four games so far.

This is Lancashire’s last away game in the group phase, with home games against Worcestershire (Sunday) and Essex (next Thursday) to follow at Emirates Old Trafford.

Team news: Lancashire’s limited resources due to the Hundred has actually worked in their favour in the sense that they have managed to keep a very settled side through this group phase.

They have built confidence and momentum, despite yesterday’s defeat against Stuart Law’s Middlesex.

But a change will be required following the calf injury suffered by Keaton Jennings whilst batting against Middlesex. That would seemingly open the door for Lytham St Anne’s-born opener Taylor Cornall to make his first-team debut.

The 22-year-old left-hander has impressed in second-team cricket in recent months and has already played two first-class matches for Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities.

Captain Dane Vilas played in the opening day win over Sussex at Sedbergh before being called away to the Hundred by the Northern Superchargers.

He is set to remain with the Headingley based side for the remainder of that competition.

Opponents: Lancashire will come up against a Durham side who will be confident of advancing themselves.

Captained by Scott Borthwick, they have entertained during their opening four games, with opener Graham Clark in sensational form.

The North East county, featuring Australian overseas batsman Cameron Bancroft, have won two of four games so far, posting scores of 405-4 and 335-4 along the way.

The former came in a thumping win over Kent at Canterbury and the latter in defeat against Gloucestershire at Scarborough - their last match last Thursday. They have also had a rainy No Result.

Clark, former Lancashire all-rounder Jordan’s younger brother, has posted scores of 141 and 140, added to a 65 in a win over Middlesex. His opening partner Alex Lees has also notched scores of 100 and 85.

Equally, as strong as their batting has been, their bowling has been nowhere near as formidable. Defending a 406 against Kent, they conceded 302-8 before falling to defeat against Gloucester defending 336.

Coach James Franklin is working alongside Liam Livingstone at Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred, with Alan Walker deputising.

Previous meeting: The last meeting in this competition also took place at Gosforth, a group stage fixture in early 2019.

Lancashire won it by three wickets chasing 230 en route to the semi-finals.

Australian Glenn Maxwell claimed 3-42 from 10 overs of off-spin as the Red Rose, who won the toss, bowled Durham out for 229 following 115 from Alex Lees at number three. Saqib Mahmood and Graham Onions both added two wickets.

Lancashire lost Keaton Jennings five balls into their reply, slipping to 1-1.

But Steven Croft’s measured 99, ended when he was trapped lbw by seamer Matt Salisbury, underpinned the chase which was later completed with an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 32 in 3.2 overs between Rob Jones (33) and Graham Onions (16 not out).

Onions’ innings included two sixes against his home county.

What they said: Coach Mark Chilton, along with players and supporters alike, will hope his “little blip” description of defeat against Middlesex proves to be spot on.

The former Red Rose captain, in charge of the side during the RL50 in Glen Chapple’s absence whilst on Hundred duty, was not overly concerned by the loss, admitting: “I think this group are more than capable of winning this competition.”

But there is plenty of work ahead for that to happen, chiefly sealing a top three finish in the group for knockout qualification.

Tomorrow’s Durham clash is the first of three remaining group games.

“I haven’t looked too far ahead,” he said. “You know what I’m going to say, take it one game at a time.

“There’s no point in working out too many permutations. It’s about us turning up at Durham and playing in a nice positive and confident way and believing that we can go and turn them over.

“They are a good side, so we know it will be a tough game. But I know we are more than capable of doing it.

“We had a pretty good result there last time (South North, two years ago).

“We had a good run chase, and Jonesy got us over the line. So we will take some good memories from that game.

“It’s something to look forward to, and I really like playing at the outgrounds. You get a nice atmosphere there.

“Bunny (Graham Onions) knows it really well, so we got a lot of inside knowledge.”

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