Lancashire coach Chapple can have a Blast in T20 competition

Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone picked up an injury against Yorkshire
Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone picked up an injury against Yorkshire

Lancashire coach Glen Chapple mustn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the minute.

His Lancashire side sit top of the Vitality Blast North Group table with five wins from six outings.

But it is a completely different story in the Specsavers County Championship, where they are staring a relegation battle in the face, having lost five of nine games.

The Red Rose were heavily beaten by Yorkshire inside three days at Emirates Old Trafford this week when captain Liam Livingstone went down with a fractured left thumb while fielding on Sunday’s first day.

It is an injury which will keep him out for six weeks and impacts significantly on both forms of the game.

On the upside, Lancashire travel to Trent Bridge to face Blast champions Nottinghamshire on Friday (6.30pm) riding the crest of a wave.

Last time out, the Lightning beat Yorkshire by one run in a last ball thriller.

“To be where we are in that competition says a lot,” said Chapple.

“It’s been a fantastic effort, but we have to push on.

“The other night was an absolute nailbiter, but a fantastic evening which should inspire everyone to go on in the competition.

“To win a close one like that is good for belief when it comes down to it.”

When asked how many wins he felt were needed to secure a top four finish and quarter-final qualification, Chapple joked: “Thirteen would be nice!

“I think nine would be a safe target. Eight went through last year. We’d like to think from where we are now we could achieve more than that.”

The Championship is another story as Lancashire are just one point above the Division One relegation zone with second-bottom Hampshire having a game in hand on Chapple’s players.

The Red Rose’s batting has been a major issue this year, despite it looking one of the strongest on paper in the country.

They have suffered damaging collapses in two of their last three fixtures, ultimately consigning them to defeats against Worcestershire away and Yorkshire at home.

At New Road last month, they were 77-0 in the first innings and 130 all out, and against Yorkshire, they went from 46-0 to 109 all out.

“We’ve got to look at ways to stop that and we’re not scoring runs consistently enough. That’s our challenge moving forwards,” said Chapple.

“We’ve had a good few weeks in T20, the lads are in good spirits, and we’ve got players with good first-class records.

“We have to retain belief that we are playing strong enough cricket to, certainly, bowl teams out.

“We need to be able to build partnerships and put scores together.”