Lancashire enter a big week of cricket by completing their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign at home to arch-rivals Yorkshire at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Lancashire enter a big week of cricket by completing their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign at home to arch-rivals Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford today.
The Red Rose can no longer qualify for the knockout stages, having lost three of their seven group matches.
But in their final 50-over outing of the summer, they can take the White Rose with them if they continue their late good form in the North Group and win for the third time in six days – the latest victory was away to former group leaders Derbyshire at the County Ground on Sunday.
Yorkshire, who have only played six, head into this clash knowing they have to win it along and Thursday’s final group outing against Northamptonshire at Headingley to seal a to- three berth.
Lancashire then turn their attention back to the Specsavers County Championship.
They host reigning champions Essex at Old Trafford, starting on Saturday, and are bidding for a second win in six Division One outings in 2018.
Looking ahead to Yorkshire, coach Glen Chapple said: “It’s a big game and we can reinforce how well we’re playing with a good performance there.
“It won’t change anything in terms of qualification but what we need to remember is what has led to our defeats.
“We need to remember that for when the T20 starts.
Lancashire will be looking to avenge April’s defeat to Essex at Chelmsford and will have Keaton Jennings available after England Test duty.
The Red Rose sit sixth in Division One on 51 points after a win, two draws and two defeats. Last time out, they beat leaders Nottinghamshire (70 points) by an innings inside three days at Trent Bridge.
Essex are fourth after two wins, two draws and a defeat. They are five points ahead of Lancashire and will field former Red Rose overseas fast bowler Neil Wagner.
They are also likely to have Alastair Cook back at the top of their batting order, though Lancashire will be without his England Test team-mates Jimmy Anderson and Jos Buttler.
Red Rose captain Liam Livingstone said: “It was a frustrating start to the season and I suppose the break for the 50 overs came at a bad time for us because we were just starting to settle into some pretty good four-day cricket. But it’s up to us now to carry what we did against Notts into Essex.
“We were disappointed with the way we started, as much as we thought we were unlucky in a few games.
“Hopefully we can start playing some good four-day cricket and work our way up the table.”
Lancashire have three games before the start of the Vitality Blast next month. After Essex, they travel to Blackfinch New Road to face Worcestershire and then host Hampshire at Old Trafford.
Livingstone added: “If we can win two of these three games, you can leapfrog quite a way up the table. Hopefully we can kick on.
“We should get Keaton back. He’s been a massive part of our team at the start of the season, and from what I’ve seen fully deserved his Test call-up.”
“It will be great to have him back. Fingers crossed, we might also get Jimmy Anderson back for the odd game. That would be a massive bonus.”
England’s management have yet to decide when Anderson will be available between now and the start of the next Test series against India in August.