From hotpots to hotshots: Lancashire edge Derbyshire in Blackpool thriller

Only at a game of cricket could you spend the majority of the day sat watching the rain fall, contemplating what makes a hotpot a hotpot and wondering whether the game was over, before all hell breaks loose in the final 75 minutes of the afternoon.

But that was the scenario at Blackpool Cricket Club on Friday afternoon, as the club’s big day was rather dampened by a constant drizzle throughout the match. It arrived after just two overs, before two longer stoppages came to frustrate the locals.

In total four hours and 56 minutes of the match was lost through rain delays. But play was resumed at 5:30pm and when it did, it was Lancashire who came out on top in a thrilling conclusion.

The Lightning needed 47 from the final four overs and then 24 from the final two overs with just three wickets in hand. But they managed to reach the target with a ball to spare to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Chasing a revised target of 161 from 18 overs, Lancashire had started brightly with openers Karl Brown and Alex Davies charging to 39-0 after four overs of the innings. The break had allowed the spectators at Stanley Park to sample the delights of the various bars around the ground.

When Lancashire were flying the noise was considerable. Lusty blows from Brown and a huge six from Liam Livingstone were cheered with great gusto. But Derbyshire began to apply the squeeze.

Just four runs came from 12 deliveries as Davies also perished. Livingstone threatened to reignite the chase, dumping the ball out of the ground. But a steady flow of wickets had Lancashire constantly falling behind the rate.

With ten overs to go the Lightning needed 95 with eight wickets remaining. Another four overs passed and two more wickets fell, leaving 67 required from 36 balls. Jordan Clark, hampered by a side strain, was stumped off Jeevan Mendis and Derbyshire’s grip of the contest was strengthened.

But a 37-run partnership from just 22 balls between Steven Croft and Ryan McLaren, featuring a couple of big sixes, breathed life into the Lancashire chase once more. They reduced the equation to 30 from 17 balls when Shiv Thakor returned to bowl McLaren.

It felt like the wicket that would win them the contest and when it was backed up two balls later by the run out of Haseeb Hameed, Derbyshire looked home and hosed. 24 was needed from 12 balls.

But the Falcons seemed determined to give the crowd a thriller at the seaside, as Mendis dropped Croft, before Ben Cotton allowed a Stephen Parry flick to reach the boundary. Parry then took two more boundaries from the over to leave an equation of seven runs from the final over.

It was bowler Parry who struck the winning runs, launching Thakor over mid wicket to seal an extraordinary victory. He made 22 from just nine balls.

Early in the day Derbyshire had batted well, either side of a two-hour delay, to reach 132-2 from 21.3 overs when play was again adjourned at 2:47pm. Ben Slater was unbeaten on a run-a-ball 60 and Thakor has caught the eye with two enormous blows which went out of Stanley Park and on to West Park Drive.

The second of those blows came from the bowling of James Anderson, who responded with a few words for the Derbyshire batsman.

Their promising innings was abandoned by the weather, with Lancashire beginning their chase which was dictated by the ever-baffling Duckworth-Lewis method.

The win means Lancashire will be able to reach the knockouts if they win their remaining two games, which would be a remarkable feat having lost their first three.

RLODC Preview: Leicestershire v Northants

Leicestershire’s Royal London One-Day Cup campaign started with two wins from three, but two defeats since have left their hopes of a knockout place hanging by a thread as they host already eliminated Northamptonshire at Grace Road on Friday night.

Northants came into the white ball season on the back of a positive start in the Championship, and as T20 Champions and 50 over quarter-finalists last year, but Wednesday’s 164 run defeat at home to Yorkshire was their fourth loss in six, with only one win and Alex Wakely’s sides’ 50 over season will end next Tuesday.

Leicestershire, meanwhile, with three games remaining still retain hope, albeit a slim one, of a top three place and a spot in the play-off, and the Foxes will likely need to win all three.

If they are to do so they will need to regain the batting form of the first three games that saw totals of 311-7, 319 (in a losing cause chasing 362) and 363-7 but since then, scores of 211 and 217 have easily been chased down by Durham and Nottinghamshire respectively.

Northants have had a campaign of missed opportunities. In games against Worcestershire, Lancashire and Yorkshire they have bowled themselves into a strong position by the midway point of the first innings, only to let it slip, and despite chasing a record score of 325 to beat Lancashire in their only win, have been unable to repeat that feat.

Key men

Ben Duckett has had a cooler start to 2017 than his summer in the sun last year and, having missed three games carrying the drinks for England, he will be keen to make an impression in what could be his last two 50 over games of the season, and will continue at the top of the order.

Cameron Delport signalled his danger in a second XI game against Northants before the One-Day Cup got underway, striking 150 in a 50 over contest, and after two games where top order failures have led to under par totals, Delport and fellow opener Mark Pettini will be key.

Team news

Rob Sayers is ruled out of the Leicestershire squad having injured a hand against Nottinghamshire at the weekend. Colin Ackermann returns, whilst Ben Raine, Neil Dexter and Richard Jones are all still absent.

Leicestershire squad: Clink McKay, Colin Akermann, Aadil Ali, Zak Chappell, Mark Cosgrove, Cameron Delport, Ned Eckersley, George Griffiths, Lewis Hill, Dieter Klein, Callum Parkinson, Mark Pettini, Jamie Sykes, Tom Wells.

With Northants already eliminated, skipper Alex Wakely and Josh Cobb have both been rested, whilst Richard Gleeson also won’t make the trip as his knee injury continues to be managed. Max Holden, Tom Sole and Saif Zaib are included in a 14 man squad.

Northants squad: Muhammed Azharullha, Nathan Buck, Steven Crook, Ben Duckett, Richard Gleeson, Max Holden, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, Adam Rossington, Rob Newton, Ben Sanderson, Tom Sole, Graeme White, Saif Zaib.

Weather and conditions

Showers are forecast throughout Friday evening, so it could lead to a frustrating night at Grace Road, whilst with cloud cover and a breeze it will also feel on the chilly side with temperatures in the early teens.

Date: Friday May 13
Time: 2:30pm
Venue: Fisher County Ground, Leicester
Umpires: Michael Baldwin, Alex Wharf
Odds: Leicestershire 4/5, Northamptonshire 1/1

 

RLODC Preview: Lancashire v Derbyshire

It might only be mid-May but it’s time to crack out your deckchairs for a trip to the seaside, as Blackpool plays host to Lancashire and Derbyshire.

Last years trip to Stanley Park, against Nottinghamshire, was abandoned due to the weather and the locals will be hopeful that the forecasts are wrong about the first rain for weeks on the Fylde Coast appearing on Friday.

If the weather Gods play ball it could be a fascinating encounter, with Lancashire believing they need to win all of their remaining games in order to reach the knockout phase.

Three defeats from their first three games left Lancashire swimming against the tide, in their bid to make the knockouts for the first time since 2012. But back-to-back victories against Warwickshire and Worcestershire have dragged them back into the mix.

The Lightning are just a point behind Derbyshire in the North Group table, with the Falcons harbouring their own hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.

Derbyshire came through to snatch an impressive win against Warwickshire on Wednesday, a result that has captain Billy Godleman believing his side are making progress in 50-over cricket.

“I said to guys in the changing room that for the last 24 months we’ve come off the field 90 per cent or more of the time having lost a tight game like that against a big county,” he said.

“But this time we won that game and found a way to get over the line. It doesn’t mean we are going to do it all of the time but we now have another layer of confidence that when we get into that situation we will have even more chance of executing our skills and bringing the game home.

“Now we have three games left and it’s very important for us a group to make sure the focus is on the next game and if we play that to the best of our ability then hopefully the results will look after themselves.”

Key Men

Lancashire have had a few star performers in their successive wins, with centuries for Steven Croft and Dane Vilas, as well as good all-round displays from Jordan Clark. But the work from Karl Brown at the top of the order should not be overlooked. His 63 from 77 balls against Worcestershire set the platform for their impressive total, but Brown will be frustrated to have made starts but not kicked on.

His scores of 34, 58, 37 and 63 have helped his side get off to good starts, but they would love him to continue and post a significant total.

Its been a similar story for Derbyshire opener Ben Slater, who will be frustrated that his good form hasn’t seen him produce a century from his four innings so far. He too has consistently made starts, with scores of 72 and 82 the highest he has been able to reach so far.

Slater will hope that Friday’s seaside showdown will be the moment he makes a really big score.

Team News

Ryan McLaren returns to the Lancashire squad after missing the two victories with a groin injury. The South African will find it hard to return to the side though, as it will surely be very difficult for Head Coach Glen Chapple to change a winning team.

Lancashire Squad: Steven Croft (c), James Anderson, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Alex Davies (wk), Haseeb Hameed, Kyle Jarvis, Simon Kerrigan, Arron Lilley, Liam Livingstone, Ryan McLaren, Stephen Parry, Tom Bailey and Dane Vilas

Charlie Macdonell is the only man added to the squad that clinched victory against Warwickshire, while Gary Wilson remains unavailable due to international commitments with Ireland.

Derbyshire Squad: Billy Godleman (c), Ben Cotton, Matt Critchley, Alex Hughes, Charlie Macdonell, Wayne Madsen, Jeevan Mendis, Tom Milnes, Tony Palladino, Luis Reece, Ben Slater, Daryn Smit, Shiv Thakor, Hardus Viljoen

Weather and Conditions

As mentioned, it will be enormously frustrating to Blackpool Cricket Club that the rain is set to arrive on their big day. This game could be seriously affected by the weather. The pitch at Blackpool can be tough to bat on, with little bounce or carry.

Date: 12th May 2017
Time: 11:00am
Ground: Blackpool Cricket Club
Umpires: Steve Garratt, Steve O’Shaughnessy
Odds (SkyBet): Lancashire 4/6, Derbyshire 6/5

Durham defy the odds to beat Notts in a magnificent run-chase under the lights at Trent Bridge

Durham kept their Royal London One-Day CUp qualification hopes well and truly alive with a stunning victory at Trent Bridge against a Notts team that fielded four internationals, chasing down their target of 298 in the final over despite a brilliant century from Alex Hales in the first innings.

A 104 from Hales and a 66 from Billy Root weren’t enough to overcome visitors Durham on Thursday in the day-nighter at Trent Bridge.

It was looking a long shot for Durham when they were 8-2 at one stage, but fought back defiantly to ensure the two points were heading back to the north east.

Keaton Jennings won the toss and elected to bowl first and Durham made the perfect start – Chris Rushworth getting rid of the dangerous Michael Lumb in the first over caught by James Weighell at point for one.

Riki Wessels soon followed but it was to be the Hales show in the first innings, who dug in when wickets were falling around him. The England opener rode his luck, but played fluently enough to bring up his 15th List A ton, before finally falling caught in the deep to Weighell.

Root and Chris Read (61) struck a 100-run partnership and didn’t allow the Durham bowlers to settle in the latter half of the innings, but Mark Wood (3-62) took three wickets in the final over to restrict the home side to 297 all out. Weighell was also in the wickets, taking 3-66.

In reply, Durham got off to a disastrous start when captain Jennings edged Jake Ball to point without scoring and Michael Richardson soon followed when Ball induced an edge to Wessels at slip.

It was then the inexperienced duo of opener Graham Clark and 21-year-old Cameron Steel, in his first season at Durham, who guided Durham up to beyond 150 that placed the visitors firmly back into the game.

Clark missed out on his first List A century by eight runs when he was harshly adjudged lbw to James Pattinson, and when Steel soon followed him for 77, Durham looked like they had a mountain to climb.

But the evergreen Paul Collingwood dug his heels in and made it hard work for the Notts bowlers to settle again, and continued to battle hard along with Ryan Pringle, Paul Coughlin and finally Stuart Poynter.

At the end, the Irish wicket-keeper Poynter proved the ideal partner for Collingwood, taking his singles where he could but when he launched Gurney into the stands for six in the 48th over, Durham became the strong, albeit unlikely, favourites.

Collingwood wrapped it up on 73 from 47 balls with a crushing four to the fence through the covers to seal what was quite a remarkable victory from Durham, who now sit second in the group only on net run-rate to Worcestershire who are third.

Notts on the other hand are fourth on six points, both teams with two to play.

RLODC Preview: Nottinghamshire vs Durham

There aren’t too many cricket grounds that are more appealing to visit than Trent Bridge and it will be Durham’s turn today, as two sides who have made good starts in the north group go head-to-head in front of the Sky cameras.

Both Notts and Durham go into the game after wins against Leicestershire and Northants respectively and will be aiming to establish a gap on one another by getting a win on Thursday, as the group makes tight reading.

Both teams have tried to play an attacking brand of cricket thus far, with both bat and ball, in the competition and are evenly matched going into it – meaning the prospect of gaining two points will be even bigger for going into the final two group matches afterwards.

The visitors, led by the in-form Keaton Jennings, sit fourth in the group whilst Notts are just one place above despite accumulating one less point than their opponents.

Durham began the campaign on minus two points, due to a penalty enforced by the ECB after financial trouble, so are having to play catch up on Peter Moores’ men. They sit on just five points after three wins, one defeat and one no-result from five games.

The point deduction hasn’t stopped Durham though, and the new leadership of Keaton Jennings has seemed to have a positive effect on the team after just the one defeat so far at Headingly, where Yorkshire chased down over 330 runs to win after a Jonny Bairstow masterclass.

The game isn’t an easy one to call – and the Bookies have edged Notts as slight favourites at Trent Bridge after three fantastic wins in a row, but Durham will be in buoyant mood to cause a surprise come Thursday.

Key Men

For the hosts, it’s proved to be an unexpected player to look out for. The youngster Billy Root averages in the three figures with the bat so far, and achieved his maiden one-day century against Warwickshire last week. Batting at six, Root has the pressure off him to come in and free his arms, and he’s done just that this season in white-ball cricket and will be in a confident mood.

Prior to the season, any Durham fan would have picked out batter Michael Richardson as one who had to step up. The back-up wicket-keeper Stuart Poynter is the one to have done exactly that so far in the campaign, and has started the season like a steam-train. The 30-year-old has three 50s and one century to his name already in the campaign at an average of 117. Batting at number three, he has proved a massive thorn for bowling sides in the early days of the 2017 season.

Team News

Notts are boosted with the return of Alex Hales and Jake Ball from their England duties, and have named a strong 12-man squad. They have plenty of experience in the likes of Patel, Read and Broad whilst the youth of Billy Root gives the squad a nice balance and plenty of talent on show.

The visitors will be forced into a change at the top of the order as oversees opener Stephen Cook has been recalled by Cricket South Africa relating to issues surrounding his contract. Gareth Harte could make his debut in his place, after impressing in the second XI, notably scoring 183 against Northants last week. England bowler Mark Wood returns to the squad after the duo of internationals against Ireland like Hales and Ball.

Notts Squad: Brendan Taylor, James Pattinson, Steven Mullaney, Chris Read (c & wk), Stuart Broad, Rikki Wessels, Alex Hales, Harry Gurney, Samit Patel, Jake Ball, Michael Lumb, Billy Root.

Durham Squad: Keaton Jennings (c), Graham Clark, Michael Richardson, Cameron Steel, Paul Collingwood, Gareth Harte, Ryan Pringle, Paul Coughlin, Stuart Poynter (wk), James Weighell, Mark Wood, Chris Rushworth, George Harding.

Form

Notts: WWWLL
Durham: WWLWA

Weather and conditions

The forecast for today’s game looks a good one: sun all morning with a cloudy but warm afternoon that projects highs of 16 degrees Celsius. It might well be a win the toss and bat first kind of day, on what should be a hard Trent Bridge pitch and usually quick outfields. Spectators might even need their sun cream.

Date: 11th May 2017
Time: 2:00pm
Ground: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Umpires: Cook and Robinson
Odds (SkyBet): Notts 4/7, Durham 11/8

Ballance stars as Yorkshire put one foot in the finals

Yorkshire may have had their England ODI quintet back on duty but it was captain Gary Ballance who stole the show once again, striking a magnificent unbeaten 152 as his side placed one step into the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup, dismantling Northants by 164 runs at Wantage Road.

After Adam Lyth, Joe Root and Peter Handscomb all went for single figures, Johnny Bairstow soon followed as Yorkshire were reduced to 73-4, but Ballance continued his remarkable start to the summer and with support from first Matthew Waite and then Adil Rashid, dragged his side up to 300-6.

Ben Coad and David Willey then took four wickets inside eight balls as Northants slipped to 11-4 in the third over, from which there was no way back. The host’s hopes of making the knock-out stages ended with a fourth defeat out of six.

For Yorkshire, meanwhile, a fifth win from six puts them three points clear at the top, in pole position for the direct qualification into a Headingley semi-final.

The headline team news was the return of the England contingent as Root, Bairstow and Rashid were joined by David Willey and Liam Plunkett, all of whom featured in both ODIs against Ireland.

However, Ballance has been Yorkshire’s man of the season so far, with the County captaincy seemingly having taken his game to new heights. He has made three centuries in as many Championship games, followed by two half centuries to kick-start the One-Day Cup.

The start of his innings was classical Ballance, nudges and nurdles, but became the perfectly paced one-day innings, reaching three figures in 97 balls and needing just 19 more to go to 150, showing the more expansive side of his game and adding three sixes to 19 fours.

It could have been different had Adam Rossington not fluffed a simple stumping when Matthew Waite was on only seven. That would have left Yorkshire 89-5 in the 24th over, but instead it was another 14 overs before another chance came.

By that stage Waite had moved to a career best 43, the fifth wicket stand worth 105 before he was eventually trapped LBW sweeping Graeme White. The Northants spinner was the pick of the hosts bowlers with 2-37. He should have had three but Richard Gleeson badly misjudged a catch in the deep early in Rashid’s innings. Northants continued to be sloppy in the field, captain Alex Wakely dropping a further chance off Rashid.

Just like he had with Bairstow, in the second ODI against Ireland, Rashid proved the perfect partner as he and Ballance added 113 in the final ten overs to reach 300. Ballance made a seventh one-day century in the 44th before racing past his previous career best of 139, Rashid contributing 41 before being run out off the final ball.

Northants’ chase of 325 against Lancashire last Friday was the only previous time they’d chased 300, and they never looked like making it a second occurrence as Coad and Willey struck.

After Coad removed Cobb with a fine delivery, that was edged behind in the second over, Richard Levi pulled his second ball straight to deep square leg. When Ben Duckett edged the first delivery of Willey’s next over onto the stumps and Rob Newton was LBW three balls later, Northants hopes of repeating last season’s quarter-final place were all but over.

Adam Rossington hit a breezy 30 in adding 50 with Wakely, but he then gloved a Plunkett bouncer and Wakely was soon bowled sweeping Adil Rashid.

Rory Kleinveldt and Graeme White ensured the Steelbacks didn’t go down without a fight, the latter hitting four sixes in a career best 40 from 26 balls, but Yorkshire’s spin twins wrapped up victory with more than 20 overs to spare.

Liddle and Klinger star in Gloucestershire victory over Kent

A game, in which Kent looked to be cruising to victory, suddenly came to life in the last ten overs of their reply and ended with the visitors falling short of Gloucestershire’s 275 by 11 runs.

It was Gloucestershire’s second win of their Royal London One-day Cup campaign and kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinal stage. The result pushed Kent to the bottom of the South group and all but ended their interest in the competition.

Gloucestershire today had two heroes – one quite predictable, skipper Michael Klinger who hit  a brilliant 134 in the home total. The second was totally unexpected- left arm seamer Chris Liddle.

Liddle joined Gloucestershire for the 2016 season from Sussex. He could not have had a worse summer. He played one match, a NatWest Blast game against Sussex, and got hammered for 35 in two overs – his last first team action of the season.

This time around he has put in some useful performances with both red and white balls culminating in his excellent 5/36 from his ten overs today.

Kent’s run chase seemed to be built on a firm foundation, principally an excellent knock of 90 in 108 balls from Daniel Bell-Drummond, and Sean Dickson (50).

It was the fourth time in five games of this 50 over campaign that Bell-Drummond has passed 50, and this would be have been his third century. But when was out in the 39th over, brilliantly caught low down at mid-off by Klinger off Liddle, the visitors’ reply lost momentum.

Sam Northeast applied the long handle with effect, cracking 44 from 40 balls before holing out to mid-on from Liddle to make Kent 220/5 in 42nd over.

Suddenly Gloucestershire smelt blood and when Alex Blake clipped Liddle to mid-on, becoming his fifth victim, Kent were on the run. Jack Taylor accounted for Matt Coles, reverse sweeping a catch, with Kent still needing 36 from four overs with three wickets in tact.

James Harris and James Tredwell both fell to Benny Howell, to catches in the deep by Chris Dent, as Kent desperately attempted to reach their target. But two excellent death overs from Matt Taylor and Howell, to Kent’s last wicket pair, saw Gloucestershire home.

Earlier in the day the feature of the Gloucestershire innings was a magnificent 134 from captain Michael Klinger. To his obvious annoyance he narrowly missed carrying his bat when we was caught in the deep in the 48th over, after an innings that saw him pass 7000 List A runs in his career.

In many ways it was the perfectly paced 50 over innings on a slow pitch. He built carefully but gradually went through the gears, finishing with 11 fours and four sixes. Standing ovations aren’t easily come by in this part of the world, but the affection the Nevil Road regulars have for Klinger guaranteed such an accolade.

Klinger’s main assistants in the home innings were Phil Mustard (26), Dent (43) and Ian Cockbain (35). But once Klinger was out the innings fell apart. Four wickets fell in the last two overs. Remarkably, only Jack Taylor (20) of the last six home batters faced more than three balls.

In truth it was a batting effort that would have been uncompetitive without Klinger.

The Kent bowling was generally accurate, with no bowler going at more than five an over, Matt Coles having the best analysis of 4/57 from his ten overs.

Both counties face must-win games this Friday: Gloucestershire entertain Somerset at the Brightside Ground and Kent face Surrey at the Oval. Their challenges are stiff. Kent’s cause looks lost, and Gloucestershire must win at least two of their remaining three games to have a chance of progress in the competition they won in 2015.

Gareth Batty: Hampshire’s Mason Crane has the mettle for international cricket

Gareth Batty is confident fellow spin-king Mason Crane has what it takes to be an England international in the coming years – so long as he doesn’t shirk his desire to improve.

Shoreham-by-Sea’s Crane enjoyed making history over the winter, becoming the first overseas cricketer to play for New South Wales in more than 30 years in Australia’s Sheffield Shield competition.

He also impressed in England’s curtain-raising domestic North v South competition in March – but has since found the going tougher in the cut and thrust of Championship cricket.

In fact the leg spinner has yet to turn out for Hampshire this season, with pitches far from suiting the 20-year-old at this early stage.

But fellow spinner Batty, the Surrey captain who toured with England in Bangladesh in India, believes highlights are only just beginning for Crane, urging him to maintain development on and off the pitch.

“He was picked as an overseas player which, as a young player and spinner in particular, is an amazing thing for him,” said Batty, speaking at the launch of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

“That in itself was a massive feat, he hasn’t played yet this summer and it’s not easy for spinners to feature when we start this early, but he’s just got to keep focusing on where he wants to get to.

“He’s not the finished article yet, so he has to focus on  getting that process right instead of worrying about the number of wickets he’s taking. If he gets the process spot on then the wickets will take care of themselves.

“He just needs to keep learning, he’s a bubbly lad who wants to keep learning and keep developing and he has earnt himself a very big opportunity now.”

As a leg spinner Crane is a rare commodity in English cricket, bursting onto the scene with Hampshire when just an 18-year-old in the summer of 2015.

Since then, talk has been about when, not if, he would make an England debut, praise he has always been keen to play down as he continues to get a foothold on his own abilities.

But for Batty, those dreams have become instantly relatable, travelling with England 11 years since his last international appearance, keen to make sure Crane has the most important attribute: self-belief.

He added: “He should dream, every young cricketer should dream, but then he should be waking up from that and making sure he gets the process that allows that to happen.

“If he gets to a place where he doesn’t have to worry whether people think he is good, instead having that inner confidence, then he can take his game to a whole new level.

“In terms of England, he’s got Adil Rashid ahead of him, Moeen Ali too, so he’s got some work to do because none of those guys have done anything wrong so far.”

As proud sponsors of the One Day Cup, Royal London is giving away match tickets to see the action live. Visit royallondoncricket.com to enter.

Trott backing England starlet Hameed to maintain Test temperament

With temperament, age and an undeniable talent on his side, Haseeb Hameed is a man who is only on the way up according to former England batsman Jonathan Trott.

A stunning maiden first-class season from Bolton’s Lancashire opener propelled him to the heights of international cricket last winter, making a Test debut against India in his bid for cricket stardom.

And despite taking to the pitch in tough Asian conditions, Hameed far from let himself down at the top of the order.

A debut 82 aided the now 20-year-old’s cause, expected to still be part of the squad when South Africa come to England in July, though life back in the County Championship has been far from easy.

Hameed has struggled for a score thus far but Trott, a veteran of more than 120 international appearances, is convinced this is only just the beginning for the youngster, so long as he can keep his cricket ducks in a row.

“Straight away when you see a teenager come in and play exactly like they have at county cricket, it is impressive, he doesn’t try to change his game or do anything differently to impress anyone,” said Trott at the launch of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

“He’s doing well with his body language and his persona too having spoken to some of the guys around the setup – he’s not intimidated by the international stage and that’s fantastic.

“That suggests that he could go on and have a very long career and hopefully he does that.

“It’s not something you can develop – you either have it or you don’t. There’s a certain self-confidence about being able to hack it at that level and you need the belief on your own ability.”

Hameed’s style has been perceived as not dissimilar to that of Trott, with both enjoying playing the long game in both four- and five-day cricket.

But, with the Royal London One-Day Cup starting this week, Hameed’s next task will be trying to force his way into the Lancashire limited-overs squad.

And while he may have not the explosive nature of teammate Jos Buttler, Trott believes he has more than done enough for the selectors to be convinced of his abilities, in Test cricket at least.

He added: “At such a young age he’s become a very impressive player, he looks very assured at international cricket which is fantastic for him.

“For England he’s really staked his claim at the top of the order, and now they’ve got to work out who’s going to bat at three which is potentially a nice problem to have.

“England have got combinations to work with now and that’s what he and Keaton Jennings have helped do, they’ve got Alastair Cook and Joe Root up in that top four so some very good players there.”

As proud sponsors of the One Day Cup, Royal London is giving away match tickets to see the action live. Visit royallondoncricket.com to enter.

Thrill of last year’s Lord’s final whetting the appetite for Trott and Warwickshire in Royal London One-Day Cup

The buzz of hitting the winning Royal London One-Day Cup final runs at Lord’s has never left Jonathan Trott, but now the Warwickshire batsman is relishing the chance to try for it all again.

The former England international scored an unbeaten 82 in last season’s dominant eight-wicket victory over Surrey, helping his side lift the trophy at the home of cricket.

The memory was comparable to that of international cricket for Trott, a veteran of 127 matches across all three formats.

Now with the taste still very sweet, the roar of the crowd is a noise the 36-year-old wants to hear once more.

“Every person who turns out for the county would love to be able to do that in a final and it’s very surreal when that does happen,,” he said at this season’s launch of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

“It happens so quickly, you get caught up in the moment and you know you’ll never forget hitting the winning runs and looking up at the dressing room to see your mates happy and ecstatic, and to help that happen is a great feeling

“It’s really exciting and once you have a taste for it you want it again. The closest you’ll get as a county cricketer is playing a final at Lord’s – you get to go there the day before and I’ve been lucky enough to do it a few times in ODI cricket.

“When it’s full there’s a real buzz around the ground, it has a certain atmosphere that you don’t really get too often and it’s fantastic for everyone to be there and be behind it.”

Warwickshire and the remaining 17 counties are looking forward to a new schedule for the 2017 season.

That will see the Royal London One-Day Cup final return to the height of summer in a block format, with the showcase Lord’s final on July 1.

With the Champions Trophy also coming to the country, as well as England players being available in the RLODC opening stages, it promises to be an exciting competition all-round.

And Trott is among those keen to get the adrenaline going, looking to build on experiences of summers past in his bid for a domestic trophy – both as a player and spectator.

He continued: “I remember playing a few at Lord’s in the height of summer when it was the C&G Trophy and it was nice, not as late as it has been recently and players and fans enjoyed being in the sunshine.

“We’ve had two finals in the past three years and they’ve been a bit overcast and cold, so hopefully we can get a nice full house at Lord’s, the home of cricket, like the final deserves and we want to get there again.

“It’s been really well planned from the ECB, playing it in the block format allows youngsters and older guys alike a chance to practice their one-day skills and improve their game.”

As proud sponsors of the One Day Cup, Royal London is giving away match tickets to see the action live. Visit royallondoncricket.com to enter.