Match Preview: Gloucestershire v Lancashire
This is a clash between two counties who are aiming to relive past glories in one-day cricket
Royal London Cup, Group A
Sunday July 25, 2021, 11am
The Bristol County Ground, Nevil Road
Lancashire, kings of one-day cricket through the eighties and nineties, travel to face Gloucestershire, who had significant success in competitions such as the National League, C&G Trophy and the Benson and Hedges Cup in the early 2000s.
While the Red Rose claimed an opening day win against Sussex at Sedbergh yesterday in stunning fashion as they recovered from 115-7 to chase 271, this is Gloucester’s first game of the competition.
Gloucester are aiming to put a frustrating season behind them with success in this competition having been knocked out of the Vitality Blast and also missing out on qualification for the top division of the County Championship.
Seamer Jack Blatherwick remains unavailable having injured himself during Tuesday’s National Counties victory over Cumbria at Sedbergh.
Richard Gleeson is on the road to recovery from his back injury having pulled out of the Manchester Originals squad in the Hundred.
He was bowling in the middle at Sedbergh School yesterday.
Gloucestershire were flying high at the top of their County Championship group having won four of their first seven games. But they then lost two out of their last three games to slip out of the top two behind Somerset and Hampshire.
They were also beaten semi-finalists in last year’s Vitality Blast, but they finished sixth in the south group this season, a point outside the quarter-final qualifying places.
Like all counties, they have been affected by Hundred call-ups, with South African batting all-rounder Graeme van Buuren captaining a young side in their National Counties friendly win against Wiltshire on Tuesday.
Toms Lace (batsmen) and Smith (spinner) have significant county experience.
In fact, Smith was in the Gloucester team which won this competition in 2015, beating Surrey in the final at Lord’s. He claimed two wickets in a tigerish defence of 221 that day.
Gloucestershire lost long-serving head coach Richard Dawson to the England set-up at the start of the season, and he was replaced by former Australia all-rounder Ian Harvey, a former Gloucester overseas favourite.
Lancashire and Gloucestershire were due to meet in the first season of the Royal London one-day Cup, 2014, only for the group fixture at Bristol to be washed out without a ball bowled.
Two summers before that, Lancashire won a Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture at Bristol by 18 runs defending a target of 190.
Oliver Newby top-scored with 36 from number nine in Lancashire’s order, pushing them up from 143-8.
In reply, Gloucester slipped to 16-4 after seven overs.
They recovered to 158-7, though lost their last three wickets for six runs to slip to a defeat at 164 all out inside 36 overs. Glen Chapple claimed superb figures of 5-26 from eight overs.
Lancashire qualified for the semi-finals that season, though they were beaten by Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The two counties have not met in a 50-over game since 2000 when Gloucester won a NatWest Trophy semi-final at Bristol defending a target of 249. They went on to win the trophy, beating Warwickshire in the Lord’s final.
What they said:
Danny Lamb, one of the Sedbergh heroes with 86 not out alongside Tom Bailey with 45, says Lancashire are confident they can claim silverware in this summer’s Royal London Cup.
The Red Rose are one of the more experienced sides in a competition shorn of many players due to the Hundred, and clearly belief will be sky high after yesterday’s heist against Sussex.
“We’ve got incredible strength in depth throughout the squad,” he said.
“I think we have a really good chance, and I don’t see why we can’t go on and win it.
“To taste winning a trophy would be amazing.
“The games come thick and fast. It’s all about momentum this sort of cricket. You’ve seen in the T20 that if you get off to a flyer, you’re hard to stop.”