Quarterfinal-bound Lancashire look to extend momentum!
Lancashire to win!
In high-intensity T20 tournaments, there are often very few games that don’t really have a context and this is one such contest. After their thrilling win over Yorkshire, Lancashire have sealed their slot in the quarterfinals along with the Notts from the North Group.
So, this fixture will be an opportunity for them to rest some of their key players if the need arises or they could just ensure that the momentum is maintained heading into the knockouts. For Durham, a third-place finish will be satisfying to an extent, after the kind of start they endured in the first half of the season.
Both teams should enjoy the conditions on offer at Old Trafford, and that should provide for a potentially thrilling affair. Durham is high on confidence after winning three on the bounce and they will be hoping to trip the mood in the Lancs camp before the all-important knockouts. The previous clash between the two teams in this season was a high-scoring game that Lancashire won at Chester-le-Street.
A well-rounded outfit, by all means, Lancashire have gelled well as a unit and also witnessed collective performances en route quarterfinal qualification. Their batting might be top-heavy but someone or the other from the top order has always been amongst the runs.
Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings carried the team earlier on but the latter had to make way for the likes of Liam Livingstone who has recently got himself into some serious form. Steven Croft has been in good touch too, and like Livingstone can make contributions with both bat and ball, thereby increasing the balance of the side. Skipper Dane Vilas hasn’t had much to do and the skipper is usually a reliable customer.
Lancs’ bowling has been extremely effective and that has allowed them to defend scores consistently. With the pitches getting tired moving to the business end of the season, this ability of the Lancs should hold them in good stead. They would hope that their lower order gets a bit more tested before the quarterfinals. It’s unclear whether they’ll field a strong side or opt to rest some of their gun players.
A Davies(wk), L Livingstone, S Croft, D Vilas(c), R Jones, J Bohannon, D Lamb, T Hartley, L Wood, S Mahmood, M Parkinson
Matt Parkinson, Steven Croft, Luke Wood, George Lavelle, Tom Hartley, Saqib Mahmood, Alex Davies, Dane Vilas, Danny Lamb, Rob Jones, Liam Livingstone
They had a miserable start to the season with a series of losses but Durham has managed to regain confidence, even if it has come a bit too late in the context of quarterfinal qualification. They made good use of their home good conditions at Chester-le-Street mid-tournament, winning a string of games to bounce back and have now won three matches on the trot with their confidence sky-high.
Their bowling unit is well-suited for the dry and two-paced decks that we’re getting to see across the tournament right now, and the batting has done enough to leave the bowlers with respectable totals. As they showed at Headingley, Durham currently is in the mood to beat teams in their own den too.
Old Trafford should suit the Durham bowlers just fine but the question is whether the batsmen can step up against the quality of Lancs’ bowlers who have been bolstered by some key additions. Durham’s top order has got plenty of starts but has been guilty of wasting those with debatable dismissals. Against a quality side in an away game, they cannot afford such mistakes.
G Clark, A Lees, B Raine, D Bedingham(wk), B Carse, F Behardien, P Coughlin, S Steel, L Trevaskis, M Potts, N Rimmington(c)
Matthew Potts, Brydon Carse, Scott Steel, Paul Coughlin, Farhaan Behardien, Alex Lees, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Raine, Graham Clark, Liam Trevaskis, David Bedingham
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||12||0 mm.||1.88 k/h||From: E||26%|
|03h||11||0 mm.||1.71 k/h||From: ENE||52%|
|06h||11||0 mm.||2.88 k/h||From: ENE||54%|
|09h||14||0 mm.||4.26 k/h||From: ENE||19%|
|12h||17||0 mm.||4.73 k/h||From: ENE||59%|
|15h||18||0 mm.||5.18 k/h||From: ENE||74%|
|18h||15||0 mm.||5.02 k/h||From: ENE||36%|
|21h||13||0 mm.||4.96 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
The forecast is for an extremely cold day with no forecast of rain at all. There could small breaks of sun but largely should be quite cold. Pitches should be decent to bat on but also would be on the slower side due to the amount of cricket played on it. The breeze and a shorter boundary on one side will be key factors.
Old Trafford has been a famous venue in English cricket, both in Tests and limited-overs cricket. The matches have mostly been extremely competitive due to the sporting surfaces on offer.
Teams wouldn’t mind losing the toss as it’s tough to decide what to do. The recent England-Australia ODIs are proof as teams managed to win batting first as well as while chasing. Unless the track slows down considerably, the toss shouldn’t matter much.