About the Match
We have an exciting clash to look forward to in the NatWest T20 Blast as Northamptonshire take on Lancashire. Both the teams lost their last match to the Birmingham Bears and will be looking to come back to winning ways. For 7th
placed Lancashire, a win here will propel them up the charts to joint second on points but a loss threatens to leave them behind the front runners for good.
The Steelbacks would have been gutted at their loss to Birmingham in the last game. Chasing 173 to win, it looked like the defending champions had it covered with Levi getting off to an absolute screamer and Rossington joining in the fun as well.
But quick wickets meant that Alex Wakely was left with just a little bit too much to do in the end and they fell short by 2 runs.
They don’t have any time to brood over the result though as they prepare to take on Lancashire. It is difficult to see how they can do things differently or even change around the players in such a short time so we think that the Steelbacks will focus on execution.
There were plenty of instances in the last game where they could have grabbed the game by the throat but took some ludicrous options. The bowling to de Grandhomme was poor and he got too many freebies and the nine runs that the last pair added for Birmingham eventually became the difference between winning and losing.
Still, Gleeson and Kleinveldt bowled their heart out and put in excellent performances.
The batting could have been a little more circumspect at occasions but that is not their natural game. Ben Duckett is the one batsmen that would like to do better since he is the Steelback’s gun batsman along with Levi and his form has been dropping off a bit lately.
We expect the Steelbacks to hit back hard after this loss.
How often would you have seen Jos Buttler score 80 not out and still end up on the losing side? Not often but a combination of some poor batting by Lancashire and some excellent batting by Birmingham meant that Lancashire looked 10 runs short while defending 174.
The openers, Brown and Livingstone, have been excellent for Lancashire this season. Brown has 190 runs to his name while Livingstone is totaling 222. Add to this the 253 that Jos Buttler has scored and this is a pretty strong batting lineup with some decent form behind it.
Dane Vilas is the one name that has been a major disappointment. He is an international player of pedigree and with 102 runs scored from 7 innings so far has not done justice to his place in the side.
Lancashire has struggled to end their batting innings with power hitting and look likely to collapse if their top-order gets out cheaply. Players like Lilley, Vilas, and Croft are occupying important batting positions but not doing much on the field at the moment.
The bowling should have been bolstered by the inclusion of Junaid Kahn in their lineup but his 6 wickets so far have come at an economy rate of 9.11, the worst for any regular bowler in the squad. Parkinson has been the best bowler for Lancashire with 7 wickets and an excellent economy rate of 6.28 but others like Ryan McLaren and Stephen Parry have not had the impact expected.
Pitch and Conditions
A cloudy but dry day has been forecast for this match so hopefully, we should get in a full game of cricket. A flat pitch and some short boundaries could mean that the spectators are in store for a lot of boundaries particularly if Levi and Buttler get going for their sides. A score of 200 must be aimed at by the team batting first.
Northamptonshire to win