Vitality T20 Blast: Leicestershire look to minimise quarterfinal uncertainty against confident Lancs
In-from Lancashire favourites to win.
Every game is a massive one in the context of the quarterfinal race and this fixture is no different. Lancashire have already booked their spot but their opponents, Leicestershire find themselves on slippery ground. They need to win this game but even that wouldn’t guarantee qualification as they would want Durham to lose their last game of the season.
Not a good spot to be in but for starters, Leicestershire will have to spot on with their execution as Lancashire have been a well-rounded side this season. Their batting has been a bit top-heavy but has got the job done more often than not. Like Durham, the Lancs too have enjoyed two-paced decks although the surfaces they have played on haven’t been as tough.
The sluggish nature of the pitches have brought their smart bowling attack into play. Leicestershire also have a similar-looking bowling unit and both teams should relish the conditions on offer at Old Trafford with the surfaces being weary and slow. Batting won’t be as straightforward and the smarter side will emerge on top.
The heavy defeat to Durham came out of syllabus for the Lancs but given that they have already qualified, they can afford to brush it aside as a one-off. The conditions in the second half of that game were extremely tough to bat on and Lancs’ chase never really took off at all. With a similar surface expected, the Lancs would want to be better prepared, especially if they end up having chase one more time.
The middle order is a soft underbelly for the team and it will be up to the likes of Alex Davies and the rest of the top order to do the bulk of the scoring. Liam Livingstone hasn’t played much games and is definitely due for some big scores. The bowling is in assured hands and with Saqib Mahmood in the side now, the stocks are bit more bolstered with the genuine wicket-taking option that he provides. Matthew Parkinson is another trump card with the kind of decks that will be on view at this stage of the tournament. If the Lancs’ batting can do their bit without fuss, the bowling should take care of the rest, at least on these two-paced pitches.
A Davies, L Livingstone, S Croft, D Vilas(c), R Jones, G Lavelle, D Lamb, L Wood, T Hartley, S Mahmood, M Parkinson
Matt Parkinson, Steven Croft, Luke Wood, Tom Hartley, Saqib Mahmood, Alex Davies, Dane Vilas, Danny Lamb, Rob Jones, Josh Bohannon, Liam Livingstone
Their win against the Notts has definitely fuelled the mood in the Leics camp but there is a lot more to do for them to get into the quarterfinals. Winning is a must, preferrably by a big margin but unless Durham lose their game, nothing will matter. Still, Leicestershire will want to focus on their own tasks. Skipper Colin Ackermann will be the key once again and after that incredible knock against the Notts, he will be full of beans.
The top order also will need to compliment their captain for them to stand a chance against an in-form opponent at their den. The bowling was outstanding against a formidable Notts batting line-up and more of the same will be required once again. If they can strike early against the Lancs, it will go a long way in strengthening their grip over the game because the middle order hasn’t been that great. Ideally, batting first would be Leicestershire’s go-to tactic on a potentially used Old Trafford deck. Their bowling can then get into the act later on. They do have a reasonably balanced side but will be under a lot of stress heading into this fixture.
N Welch, G Delany, A Lilley, C Ackermann(c), H Dearden, G Rhodes, L Hill(wk), C Parkinson, D Klein, W Davis, G Griffiths
Gavin Griffiths, Lewis Hill, Colin Ackermann, Nick Welch, Dieter Klein, Harry Swindells, Arron Lilley, William Davis, Callum Parkinson, Harry Dearden, Gareth Delany
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||13||0 mm.||4.09 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|03h||12||0 mm.||4.53 k/h||From: NE||30%|
|06h||12||0 mm.||3.08 k/h||From: ENE||37%|
|09h||14||0 mm.||3.81 k/h||From: ENE||27%|
|12h||17||0 mm.||3.72 k/h||From: ENE||13%|
|15h||19||0 mm.||3.61 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|18h||15||0 mm.||2.72 k/h||From: E||0%|
|21h||13||0 mm.||1.39 k/h||From: E||0%|
Forecast is for a clear cold day with no forecast of rain. The pitch should be on the slower side and drier with help for bowlers who use variations and spinners.
Old Trafford has been one of England’s iconic venues across formats. Pitches have been extremely sporting with a good balance between bat and ball.
Teams would want to bat first at Old Trafford as the pitches have been used a lot in this English summer during the international games. The deck could slow down considerably in the second half.