Exclusive Steven Croft Lancashire cricket column

Liam Livingstone will be a big miss for Lancashire while he is missing through injury
Liam Livingstone will be a big miss for Lancashire while he is missing through injury

It’s been good to be involved in our recent good run in the T20 Blast. I’ve said before the main thing is to get out of the group.

We’ve got a tough week coming up with games against Leicestershire, Durham and Yorkshire but we’ve played some really good cricket in the first eight games to sit top of the standings.

We’ve put in some good performances and there’s still more to come.

I don’t think we’ve played out of our skin yet which is a great thing and we just need to keep building that momentum up.

It can still all change but we’re confident.

The Nottinghamshire defeat, our first one in six games, was a tough one to take.

We felt good after the first few overs but lost two wickets in two balls which is never ideal.

You’re always going to lose the odd game especially when there’s a bit of rain involved.

But it’s been great to get the early wins in and give us a bit of breathing space in the process.

It will be a tough ask to win all three over the next week but if we win the majority we’re probably going to qualify as one of the top four in the group.

Our aim first and foremost is to get out of the group but finishing in the top two would see us get a home quarter-final and our record at Old Trafford is very good.

That would be a massive advantage for us.

While it’s been good to be involved with the first XI having been a bit in and out this summer, it was hard to take missing the Roses win against Yorkshire.

I was there at the ground helping out and it would have been great to play in front of that crowd.

My chance of breaking the record for consecutive T20 games for one team went as a result but it was always going to end at some point.

It was a great game of cricket.

My fellow Fylde coast player Toby Lester was one of the stars that night, holding his nerve in the final over as we won by one run.

Toby’s done really well in recent weeks, I’m chuffed for him.

It’s good to see players like him get an opportunity and take it.

A lot of youngsters can take a bit of time to find their feet.

T20 is one of those games where it can be sink or swim but he’s got good options with the ball.

In the first few overs he’s quite attacking and then at the death he’s got good skills there. They are two very hard things to master.

Up front you’ve only got two men out and then it is tough bowling at the death.

He hasn’t got the easiest of roles but he’s doing it really well.

There were one or two games where the batsmen got hold of him but then he came back and showed his character and brushed it under the carpet.

It’s one of those that will happen in T20 games all over the world.

Bowlers will get hit for boundaries it’s just how you react to it and he’s done that brilliantly.

It’s been good for me as well because we car share! It’s been good to be travelling with him.

Liam Livingstone also impressed on that night against Yorkshire with a great knock at the top of the order.

Sadly we’ve lost him now to injury.

He was in red-hot form, especially in the T20s so it’s a real blow at the top of the innings.

We’ll miss those runs but we’ve got some good players to come in and the seconds have even done well in their own T20 competition for good measure.

We’ve got a good squad for the format.

He will be missed and hopefully, if we do get beyond the group and maybe to finals day, then he might be able to squeeze in a game or two.

With Keaton Jennings also away with England I’m hoping to feature a bit more with bat and ball.

We’re two batsmen down so it would be good to get up the order.

It was nice to get a bowl at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire and it came out alright considering that it was my first white ball bowling of the summer.

We look at the stats and, against some teams, it works to open the bowling with spin and we saw Trent Bridge was a ground for that.

I’ve generally done well with the ball there so I stuck my hand up.

I didn’t pick up any wickets but I think I was the most economical and it was just good to turn my arm over.

Steven Croft is celebrating his testimonial year and was talking to Adam Lord