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Match Preview: Lancashire v Northamptonshire

Match Preview: Lancashire v Northamptonshire

Lancashire lead Group Three heading into a second successive fixture at Emirates Old Trafford

LV= Insurance County Championship, Group Three
Thursday April 15 - Sunday April 18, 2021, 11am
Emirates Old Trafford

Lancashire are the early pacesetters in Group Three having made the best of a weather-interrupted opening week of 2021 to claim the maximum 16 points on offer for the home draw against Sussex.

The Red Rose had the better of a game which was batting friendly, despite the time lost due to snow! 

Dane Vilas was the star of the show with a magnificent 189 as Lancashire replied to Sussex’s 301 with 407. Sussex had reached 103-2 in their second innings by the time the wintery weather cut short the fourth day.

There were only three victories out of the nine Championship games last week, with them all coming in Group Two for Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Given some better weather over the next four days, captain Vilas and company will be confident of building on their encouraging start with a win against a team with a number of Lancashire connections.

Team news

Lancashire are expected to choose from similar personnel as they did last week.  

Find out who's made Glen Chapple's 12-man squad, here.



Northamptonshire were involved in a high-scoring home draw against Kent last week, a game which barely got into its second innings at Wantage Road.

Kent made 455 before the hosts rode on 154 from highly-rated opener Ricardo Vasconcelos to respond with 434. Kent finished on 42-1 in their second innings.

Northants claimed 15 points from the draw and sit second in the embryonic Group Three table.

Captained by wicketkeeper Adam Rossington, the county finished fourth in last season’s Bob Willis Trophy Central Group, winning one of five games.

A county who have recently had a reputation for white ball success, they were promoted from Division Two of the Championship in 2019 - second behind Lancashire - but were denied the opportunity to play in Division One in 2020.

Emilio Gay, a 20-year-old, is their big batting hope.

South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell is their overseas player across all formats this year, but he did not play against Kent. 

Former Lancashire Championship winners Simon Kerrigan and Luke Procter were other absentees from that fixture.

Ex-Lancashire quick Nathan Buck recently signed a new contract at Wantage Road, and he forms an experienced seam attack with Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg. 

Previous meeting

Having beaten Northants by 10 wickets at Emirates Old Trafford in May 2019,  the two sides played out a high-scoring draw at Wantage Road in July.

Northants posted 442, including five wickets for Graham Onions, before Alex Davies’ career best 147 underpinned the Red Rose response of 315 all out early on day three.

The hosts then added 263-9 declared, setting Lancashire 391 to win before lunch on the final day.

The Red Rose then batted out almost 83 overs with comfort (275-4) thanks to fifties for Davies, Haseeb Hameed, Josh Bohannon and Dane Vilas.

What they said

Keaton Jennings says he and opening partner Alex Davies are relishing the pressure which falls on them to lay a solid foundation for Lancashire’s batting line-up.

If Lancashire are going to win this season’s Championship title, they will need to build on big runs at the top of the order - something Jennings knows all too well having shared a productive opening partnership with Mark Stoneman when former county Durham won the title in 2013. 

Jennings and Davies posted four and 61 against Sussex, sharing only eight. 

The former said: “Myself and Al are really close friends, so we bounce off each other. We know each other’s game and know what makes each other tick. 

“He is a small guy, I’m fairly gangly. The areas where bowlers have to bowl to him and to me are different. We complement each other nicely. 

“If you know how he is feeling, it makes that partnership better. We read each other well. Hopefully, we can get some good partnerships going and get the lads off to a good start.

“When you can get through that new ball period, especially in early season, you can set yourself up for some nice big scores. 

“There is always extra pressure on opening batters, your mistakes are highlighted more than most. But it’s a pressure we both enjoy.”

Ahead of the Northants clash, Red Rose assistant coach Mark Chilton added: “It wasn’t just Sussex. In the two weeks prior to that, there was a lot of good stuff going on from a lot of people.

“It wasn’t just the eleven that were on the park.

“We have to manage players through a busy period - five weeks on the trot.

“We all know how hard you have to work at Emirates Old Trafford to get results. We will think hard about the team we pick, have a look at the pitch and see what the weather is like.

“But we’re all very confident that there are 14, 15, 16 players who will all make key contributions to this side over the next few weeks.”

Timings of play

As a mark of respect for the late HRH Prince Philip, there will be no play between 2.50pm and 4.10pm during Saturday’s third day when his funeral takes place.

That 80 minutes includes the tea break, so an hour’s play will be made up across the first three days. Play will run to 6.15pm on days one and two and 6.30pm on day three. Day four will run as normal. Play on all days will begin at 11am.

2021 Adult Memberships

Join the Red Rose with an Official 2021 Membership, starting from just £35.


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