MATCH PREVIEW: Notts Outlaws v Lancashire Lightning
Lancashire are on their way in this season’s Blast following victory over Worcestershire at Emirates Old Trafford, by 12 runs defending a target of 184.
Nottinghamshire Outlaws v Lancashire Lightning
Vitality Blast, North Group
Tuesday May 31, 2022, 6.30pm
Tim David (60) and Richard Gleeson (five wickets) were the stars, and now come perennial challengers the Nottinghamshire Outlaws.
This is our first away game of the North Group campaign and it is a clash between, wins wise, the two most successful teams in the history of the competition.
Since the inception of the Blast in 2003, Nottinghamshire have won 129 games - they could make that 130 tonight at home to Northamptonshire - and Lancashire have won 125.
Only Indian Premier League sides Chennai Super Kings (136) and Mumbai Indians (140) have more wins of any side in world cricket.
Head Coach Glen Chapple has once again named the same 14-man squad from Lancashire Lightning's opening two matches of the Vitality Blast.
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
The Outlaws are bidding for a hat-trick of successes in the Blast having won this competition in 2017 and 2020.
Peter Moores was their coach for both previous victories, and the former Lancashire County Championship-winning coach remains in charge at Trent Bridge.
Notts have won the North Group in two of the last three seasons and finished second in the other, an indication of their strength in this format of the game.
Joe Clarke, Alex Hales, Ben Duckett and Samit Patel leading their batting line-up, while veteran Australian all-rounder Dan Christian is back as captain once again.
Christian, captain of Notts in 2017 and 2020, is a serial winner in T20. The 39-year-old has claimed nine titles around the world for various teams, including Sydney Sixers.
They started their campaign with a four-wicket victory over Worcestershire at Trent Bridge on Friday night, chasing 165.
Notts have also signed seamers Dane Paterson and James Pattinson as overseas players, though neither played in Friday’s opener against Worcester. Assuming Christian, as captain, is a certain starter, they can only field one of those other two overseas players to go alongside him.
Opposing player to watch:
Luke Fletcher, the 33-year-old seamer, is a hugely impressive performer and a popular figure around the county circuit.
Nottingham-born Fletcher is closing in on 100 career T20 appearances. Against Lancashire, he is likely to make his 96th career appearance.
He was the leading wicket-taker in last season’s County Championship with 66, while he also played in the Hundred for the Welsh Fire and has played overseas T20 for Wellington in New Zealand.
A canny bowler who is excellent at the death, he started this season’s Blast with a bang, claiming career best figures of 5-32 in the aforementioned win over Worcester on Friday.
The two teams played out a tie and a Notts win in last season’s Blast, within seven days of each other. The latter came at Trent Bridge (June 26), with the Outlaws winning by seven runs.
Alex Hales underpinned the home side’s 173-6 with an unbeaten 101 off 66 balls at the top of the order. Saqib Mahmood claimed two wickets and the spin trio of Steven Croft, Tom Hartley and Matt Parkinson one apiece.
In reply, the Lightning slipped to 102-6 in the 13th over and looked out of it. But Croft (41) and Luke Wood (33 not out) revived hopes with a 48-run stand in six-and-a-half overs.
With the score at 154-6 with nine balls remaining, the visitors needed 20 to win. Unfortunately, Croft fell immediately to Jake Ball and they finished on 166-7.
Both sides went on to qualify for the quarter-finals, but were beaten - Lancashire by Somerset and Notts by Hampshire. Notts, chasing 126 against Hampshire at Trent Bridge, slipped from 42-0 in the fifth over to 123 all out in the 20th.
What they said:
Richard Gleeson and the rest of the Lancashire dressing room are clearly aware of that aforementioned winning record held by the Red Rose and the Outlaws.
“Us and Notts are probably the two teams the others are trying to beat. That’s what the lads think anyway!” said the Blackpool-born quick.
“They are a well-oiled machine, they’ve all got their roles and they know what they are doing. So we’ll go there and try and turn them over.
“Hopefully the pressure we’ve been under these last two games (Yorkshire tie and Worcestershire win) means we are ready. If we get put under the pump, we can respond to it right away.”
On his fellow star of the show against the Rapids, Tim David, Gleeson said: “He’s been a great addition, a great lad in the dressing room.
“With his power, he’s not just hitting it, he’s playing some proper shots. He’s been very impressive.”
And on the progression of the team in general, he added: “Saqib will be a big miss. Hopefully we will get Jos back after the IPL, and we will just keep on trying to churn out performances - do our thing, play cricket the way we want to play it.
“That’s something we’ve spoken about in the dressing room, and so far it’s been good.”
Lancashire will go in search of their first T20 victory at Trent Bridge since 2009.
On that occasion, chasing 174, second-wicket pair VVS Laxman (78) and Steven Croft (83) shared an unbroken 162 to seal a nine-wicket success with two overs to spare.
It was the season which saw the Lightning knocked out in the quarter-finals, via a bowl out in the Emirates Old Trafford indoor school, by Somerset.
Tim David also plays his 100th career T20 match.