Match Preview: Lancashire v Yorkshire
The first red ball Roses clash since 2018 takes place with the sides sitting first and second in Group Three
LV= Insurance County Championship, Group Three
Thursday May 27 - Sunday May 30, 2021, 11am
Emirates Old Trafford
The biggest rivalry in county cricket, the top two sides in the Group Three table, both unbeaten, the return of our members and supporters for the first time since September 2019 and televised live on Sky.
What a fixture this promises to be!
Lancashire lead the table by only three points from a Yorkshire side who have the same three wins, three draws record.
While Lancashire played out a rainy draw at Northampton last week, when only 34.3 overs were bowled across four days, Yorkshire had a week off.
In the last decade, this fixture has generally been played between two sides fighting for different goals.
In 2011, for example, Lancashire were fighting for the Championship title and Yorkshire battling against relegation. In 2014, it was the opposite.
Now, this is the first of two Roses fixtures in seven weeks that will see both counties go all out for Championship glory, with the second at Scarborough in mid-July.
The top two sides in each of the three groups will qualify for the top group in the second phase of the competition in August and September, enabling them to fight for the Championship title and then the Bob Willis Trophy.
Make no mistake, qualification is not yet sewn up for either side, but it would be a surprise to see someone else gatecrash the top two places.
Glamorgan are 18 points behind Yorkshire in third having played seven - one game more. Northants are fourth and 22 points off the top two having played six.
If it remains a Lancashire and Yorkshire one-two, then this and the Scarborough fixture takes on added importance.
Only four games are played in the second phase, despite it being a six-team group. You don’t play the team you have advanced with from your group. Instead, half the aggregate of points you have accrued across the two initial group stage fixtures is carried forwards.
For example, say Lancashire beat Yorkshire twice by hauls of 24 points to six (48 to 12), then Lancashire will carry 24 points and Yorkshire six.
Head Coach Glen Chapple has named a 12-man squad to face Roses rivals Yorkshire, starting tomorrow (27 May) at Emirates Old Trafford.
The squad is unchanged from the weather-affected draw away at Northants, with only James Anderson omitted ahead of joining up with the England Test match bubble later this week.
Yorkshire may be unbeaten, but they are still searching for consistency in their batting.
They are one of only four counties who have not yet reached double figures in terms of batting bonus points (Kent, Derbyshire and Warwickshire the others).
They were saved by the snow in the opening round draw against Glamorgan at Emerald Headingley, a drawn game which the visitors had the better of.
They then claimed three successive wins against Kent and Sussex away and Northamptonshire at home, the latter by just the one-run.
Weather-affected draws against Kent at home and Glamorgan away have followed.
While their batting is yet to find consistency, they have shown an impressive battling quality to pull games out of the fire. Added to the one-run Northants win defending 220, they defended a 235 target at Sussex the week before.
Adam Lyth is their leading run-scorer with 538 runs in six matches, including two hundreds. Nobody else but Joe Root has scored a century.
Veteran captain Steve Patterson is their leading wicket-taker with 21.
Highly rated all-rounder Jordan Thompson, 24, is a player to keep an eye on.
If Jonny Bairstow does not play, 19-year-old wicketkeeper Harry Duke will play only his second Championship game.
He has spent the winter under the coaching of North West Thunder women’s head coach Paul Shaw, who also works as a wicketkeeping consultant.
These two sides met in a rainy draw at Emerald Headingley last September under the guise of the Bob Willis Trophy.
Only 162 overs were bowled in a game which did not get out of the first innings.
Danny Lamb claimed a first-class best haul of 4-55 as Yorkshire, who elected to bat, were bowled out for 260, including Adam Lyth’s 103.
In reply, Lancashire reached 195-5, with Alex Davies making 73.
Only 2.1 overs were possible on day one and day four was completely washed out.
The Red Rose handed a first-class debut to Wigan-born seamer George Burrows.
Lancashire have not beaten Yorkshire in four-day cricket since 2011, when they completed the double with wins at Liverpool and then Headingley on the way to Championship glory.
Amazingly, the Red Rose are without a Roses red ball win at Emirates Old Trafford since 2000 when John Crawley was captain, Sourav Ganguly was the overseas and England head coach Chris Silverwood played for Yorkshire. Gary Keedy took seven wickets in the match for Lancashire.
What they said:
Liam Livingstone is like a kid on Christmas Eve as he contemplates the return of supporters to Emirates Old Trafford this week.
Livingstone experienced crowds in venues during his spell in Australia’s Big Bash over the winter and loved every minute of it.
“You get an adrenaline rush of playing professional cricket, an adrenaline rush of the pressure of professional sport,” he said. “But you just cannot recreate the adrenaline rush of a crowd, which we have missed over the last 18 months.
“That feeling was so cool (in Perth). We had 25-27,000 in on a Saturday for a game against the Sydney Thunder, and it was a close game.
“The atmosphere in there….it was probably the first time for a few years where I was playing a game but also taking everything in around me because it felt so different and weird to have people supporting again.
“It was so cool to have the crowds back, and it is why we play the game - to provide entertainment. That’s what we love to do.
“I actually said last summer that the only two games that felt like proper games were the two T20s against Yorkshire because no matter what happens, whether there’s a crowd or not, you don’t want to lose against Yorkshire.
“I don’t think we’ve had a great record against them in four-day cricket in recent years, so it will be nice to play them at the top of our game.
“And it will be nice to have the fans backing us. Hopefully it’s a good four days of cricket and the weather turns around because we wouldn’t want it to ruin what should be a really good game.
“I know the lads are really excited for it.”