Match Preview: Glamorgan v Lancashire
Lancashire head to Sophia Gardens back on top of the LV= Insurance County Championship Group 3
LV= Insurance County Championship, Group Three
Thursday June 3 - Sunday June 6, 2021, 11am
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Lancashire head to South Wales still basking in the glory of Sunday’s stunning Roses win, their first against them in the Championship since 2011 and their first at Emirates Old Trafford since 2000.
But that will all be forgotten come 11am on Thursday when the task becomes taking a further step towards qualification for the Championship’s top group, which begins in late August.
Lancashire could mathematically secure their place in the top two this week, but it would take a heavy defeat for Northamptonshire against Kent at Canterbury and a big win in Cardiff.
The Red Rose are the only unbeaten team in the country and face a Glamorgan side who have only won once this season and have had a week’s rest.
Lancashire have a strong recent away record against Glamorgan, albeit at Colwyn Bay rather than at Sophia Gardens, a venue they last visited 25 years ago.
Jack Blatherwick has been added to the squad that beat Yorkshire last week. Jos Buttler will not be available until the start of the Vitality Blast having returned from IPL duty recently. The England superstar will then play six Blast games before England duty.
Glamorgan are fourth in Group Three and have it all to do to qualify for the top group given they have only won once in seven games, losing four times.
Realistically, this is a must win fixture for captain Chris Cooke and company.
They will have Australian duo Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser available.
Glamorgan have had a week away from action, last playing when they drew a rain-affected clash with Kent at Canterbury almost a fortnight ago.
Labuschagne has only scored 44 runs in six innings (four games) with a top score of 12, while Neser has taken a more profitable 12 wickets in three games, including a best of 5-39.
Young gun Kiran Carlson is their leading run-scorer with 552 runs in seven games, posting two centuries, for a side coached by former England batsman Matt Maynard. A classy batsman, the 23-year-old looks set for higher honours in the years to come. He is certainly one to keep an eye on.
This will be Lancashire’s first visit to Cardiff for a Championship game since 1996 when they were beaten by 48 runs. Since then, they have played the Welshmen five times at Colwyn Bay and are unbeaten.
The two sides met at Emirates Old Trafford last month, a rainy draw.
It was a game which was limited to first innings, with Glamorgan bowled out for 344 and Lancashire responding with 301-9.
Jimmy Anderson and Saqib Mahmood took three wickets apiece for the Red Rose after Glamorgan had elected to bat first before Keaton Jennings (64) and Josh Bohannon (53) both scored half-centuries in reply.
What they said:
Tom Bailey says Lancashire are brimming with confidence and aiming sky high after last week’s win over Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
“We’ve always said that we want to be the best team in the country,” said the new ball seamer.
“It’s not easy getting to that point, but you have to be relentless in your approach to it, and it’s looking like we’re getting there at the moment.
“The lads are confident, and we’re going out with that belief that we can win any game and beat anyone, shown by the fact Yorkshire are second in our group.”
Bailey set the tone for Lancashire’s first Roses win at Old Trafford since 2000 with a brilliant 3-6 from 14 overs as Yorkshire were bowled out for 159 in the first innings.
He is a key member of a relentless Red Rose bowling attack which also includes England stars of the future Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson - both key contributors to the Yorkshire win.
Mahmood claimed his first career first-class five-wicket haul and Parkinson took the winning wicket.
Bailey added: “Dane knows that once myself and Saqqy have bowled our spells, others will come and back it up, as Woody and Lamby showed against Yorkshire.
“Every bowler is bowling well, even in the second team.
“Touch wood, there’s no injuries at the moment, and it’s giving Chappie headaches.”