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MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids

MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids

Have you recovered yet? What a start to this season’s Blast that was, a Roses tie in front of a 14,000 crowd. Both Lancashire’s and Yorkshire’s players deserve huge credit for delivering up a treat.

Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids
Vitality Blast, North Group
Emirates Old Trafford
Sunday May 29, 2022, 2.30pm

Now, let’s have some more.

A Worcestershire side on the back of two opening defeats - to Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire - visit Emirates Old Trafford.

Phil Salt will bid to back up an excellent debut T20 performance, his 59 underpinning Lancashire’s 183-7. Tim David also showed what he’s capable of with a quick-fire 35.

And, it was just fabulous to see Richard Gleeson fit and firing again after two years of injury hell. Trapping Harry Brook lbw to secure that tie last night won’t have made up for his recent frustrations, but it will have certainly helped.

Incidentally, before last night, the last Lancashire player to make a fifty on his T20 debut for the county was Keaton Jennings versus Worcestershire at Emirates Old Trafford in 2018.

Squad News:

Head Coach Glen Chapple has named an unchanged 14-man squad from Friday evening's Roses T20.

Dane Vilas (C), Josh Bohannon, Steven Croft, Tim David, Richard Gleeson, Tom Hartley, Liam Hurt, Keaton Jennings, Danny Lamb, Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, Phil Salt, Luke Wells, Luke Wood

Opponents:

The Rapids have been a force to be reckoned with in the Blast over the last few years. Champions in 2018, they were also beaten finalists the following year by Essex.

They missed out on the knockout stages in each of the last two seasons, but will be hoping to rectify that this year. They have signed overseas duo Colin Munro, the New Zealand batter, and veteran West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo as their overseas.

Munro played against Notts at Trent Bridge last night, scoring 66, though Bravo only becomes available from this coming Wednesday having been resting since the IPL. Captain Moeen Ali is in exactly the same boat and misses this game.

They will be captained by wicketkeeper Ben Cox and include plenty of young and exciting talent in the form of seamers Pat Brown and Dillon Pennington, openers Ed Pollock and Taylor Cornall, the latter who was with Lancashire last year, and in-form Jack Haynes.

Lytham St Anne’s-born Cornall, 23, played two Royal London Cup games for Lancashire but moved to Worcester for more opportunities. He has so far scored three red-ball centuries for their second team added to an 85 in T20 game. But he has not played in the first two North Group games.

Having lost by seven wickets to Yorkshire at Headingley on Wednesday, they went down by four wickets to Notts last night. They made 164-9, a total reeled in with two balls to spare.

Player to watch:

Jack Haynes, 21, is a former England Under 19s batter who has only played a handful of Blast games.

He debuted in the Blast 2020 and has started this summer like a house on fire, with three centuries in as many County Championship games immediately before the break for the start of the Blast.

Right-handed Haynes then batted at three in the opener against Yorkshire and crashed a quick-fire 61, including taking the likes of Dom Bess and Adil Rashid to task.

Previous meeting:

Saqib Mahmood and Tom Hartley claimed four wickets apiece after Rob Jones had hit a crucial unbeaten 49 as the Lightning secured victory over Worcestershire at Emirates Old Trafford last July.

Having elected to bat (July 1), Lancashire slipped into some trouble at 85-4 in the 13th over and later 122-6 after 17. But Jones, batting at five, hit five fours and a six in a superb 33-ball knock which was, at the time, a career best.

He boosted the total to a very competitive 159-6 before the Rapids slumped badly in the face of excellent bowling from pacer Mahmood (4-25 from 3.3 overs) and left-arm spinner Hartley (4-16 from four).

Like Jones, Mahmood and Hartley both returned career best hauls as Worcester fell to 81-6 and later 125 all out inside 19 overs.

Both bowlers claimed two wickets in two balls in the innings, securing a 34-run win.

What they said:

Captain Dane Vilas has hailed the personal contributions of two Red Rose new boys and a returning favourite after helping the county start their campaign in memorable fashion last night.

Ok, it may not have been the win, but it was a game which will not be easily forgotten.

Phil Salt, on his T20 debut for the Lightning, made a superb start with a half-century, Singapore-born Australian batter Tim David showed what he is capable of with a powerful 35 and Richard Gleeson, beset by recent back problems, return from injury to strike the decisive blow by trapping Harry Brook lbw with Yorkshire needing one to win off the last ball.

“Lancashire is strong if he’s doing well,” said Vilas, of Gleeson.

“He looks strong, he looks fit, and he was getting into the batters a bit as well, which is what you want to see from a fast bowler.

“It’s great to have him in the team, and hopefully he stays injury free.”

On Salt and David, he added: “That’s why you get big players like this, and it’s great.

“We know Salty and what he’s about. He’s done so well for us in the four-day stuff already and has shown his class. T20 is a great format for him, and he’s a really exciting player.

“For a guy like Tim to come in and hit it like he does is incredible.

“It was a nice start, and I have no doubt they are going to continue this throughout the whole of the competition.”

How’s Stat!

Lancashire extended their unbeaten T20 run at Emirates Old Trafford to eight games last night, which is now a club record.

How to follow:

The match will be broadcast live on LancsTV, whilst live ball-by-ball radio commentary provided by BBC Radio Lancashire's Scott Read will also be available via the BBC Sport app and website.

For those unable to follow the action live, there will be regular updates on the Club's social media channels and the Match Centre, with daily highlights also posted on YouTube.

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