About the Match
The scenario for the teams going to the next stage from the North Division is very complicated even at this stage, except that Lancashire is through but still not sure as the topper, even though they have 20 points from 9 wins. They play their last game against Durham, which has no chance of making to the next stage with only 10 points, on 24th July at Manchester. Any upset in matches involving Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Worcestershire, Durham and Northants can change the scenario, making the quarter final composition and rankings; with interesting possibilities, keen contests are on the cards.
Playing the last league match and sure of making it to the top four, they will try and defeat Durham, which will ensure them the topmost position on the table in the North Division. They have the resources, will power and determination to do that but will they be able to repeat their single run win in the previous encounter against Durham on 29th May, defending 133 for 6. They have done wonderfully against a weak Derbyshire on 18th Jul in scoring 225 for 7 due to a good knock by Price, Brown and Buttler but allowing Derbyshire to go up to 190 in response exposes their vulnerability in bowling, which Durham is capable of exploiting. They should have won it like how they did against Worcestershire wherein batting first, they piled up 229 for 4 and restricted them to 179 for 7, winning by 50 runs. Similarly their 55 run win against Northants on 20th June wherein they dismissed the opponent for 134 with 7 balls to spare after scoring 187 for 3 with good batting performance by Smith, Brown and Buttler and Junaid Khan coming up with a star performance of 3 wickets, just goes to prove their worth.
Even a win to Durham at this stage will not take them any closer to the next stage; and with nothing to lose, they will definitely give it their all to cause an upset to Lancashire, though the opponents have qualified already. Their narrow loss against Lancashire in the previous encounter on 29th May is a pointer to their capabilities; they have good bowlers as evident in their win against Yorkshire on 2nd July where Hastings took 3 wickets in dismissing the opponents to 95 while defending 123. Mustard has been playing consistently while opening the innings, as demonstrated in their win on 2nd July and with his 54 off 27 balls against Derbyshire in chasing 125. Most of the wins registered by Durham have been low scoring matches and hence they must keep in mind their strengths in bowling and exploit the weaknesses of Lancashire to restrict their scoring.
Lancashire is well equipped to thwart any design of Durham to play spoil sport, and register a victory in their last league match so as to occupy the top spot among the North Division qualifiers.
Lancashire Lighning, 1.50 @ Titan Bet