This match throws together the bottom two sides in the North Group and two teams who have become perennial One-Day Cup strugglers.
Lancashire, kings of one-day cricket throughout the 90s, haven’t reached the knockout stage of the One-Day Cup since 2012.
You have to go back even further to find Leicestershire’s last outing in the knockouts, all the way back to 2008 when it was the Friends Provident Trophy. Now head coach Paul Nixon top-scored for the Foxes in their quarter-final defeat to Essex.
2008 was also the last time that Leicestershire played a home game at Oakham School. The picturesque Rutland venue returns to the Foxes outground list for this match and Nixon has expressed how much he is looking forward to being back there.
Both teams enter this contest knowing that nothing more than a win will do. They have just the one win each, with Lancashire ahead of bottom-side Leicestershire by virtue of their abandonment against Warwickshire.
And both are looking to respond from losing a game against Worcestershire that they looked like winning. Lancashire reduced the Rapids to 78-5 in their chase of 255, but Daryl Mitchell’s century condemned Glen Chapple’s side to another loss.
Leicestershire’s record List A total of 376-4 also looked a near-certainty to secure them victory, but Callum Ferguson’s incredible 192 from 143 balls saw Worcestershire to that remarkable chase.
So these two sides are developing a habit of finding ways to lose games. That will have to change pretty quickly if they hope to qualify for the latter stages. Both have just three matches remaining, but Lancashire’s impressive net run rate – courtesy of a massive win against Durham – gives them greater hope.
It’s been quite a week for Paul Horton. The experienced Australian was made captain after Michael Carberry was stripped of the position two months after his was announced as skipper. Horton made an impressive 79 from 80 balls in that high-scoring clash against Worcestershire and will want to lead from example again as he takes on his former side.
Lancashire have chopped and changed their bowling unit throughout the competition as Chapple seeks to find the right balance. But overseas signing Joe Mennie has remained an ever-present and performed well again last time out, taking three wickets and leading the attack. As Lancashire continue to introduce new players into their lineup, Mennie’s importance increases.
The Foxes have made two changes to the side for this clash, as Ben Raine and Gavin Griffiths drop out and are replaced by Lewis Hill and Harry Dearden. Callum Parkinson will be looking forward to taking on twin brother Matt, who lines up for Lancashire.
Leicestershire Squad: Varun Aaron, Colin Ackermann, Mark Cosgrove, Harry Dearden, Cameron Delport, Neil Dexter, Ned Eckersley, Lewis Hill, Paul Horton, Ateeq Javid, Dieter Klein, Callum Parkinson, Tom Wells
Lancashire need to make a change at the top of the order after in-form Keaton Jennings was called into England’s Test squad. With that in mind, Haseeb Hameed and Rob Jones come in after dazzling form for the Second XI. Josh Bohannon remains in the squad after making his first List A appearance on the field against Worcestershire – his debut against Warwickshire was rained off before he took to the pitch.
Lancashire Squad: Liam Livingstone (C), Josh Bohannon, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, Alex Davies, Haseeb Hameed, Rob Jones, Joe Mennie, Graham Onions, Matt Parkinson, Stephen Parry, Dane Vilas
Weather and Conditions
As it’s the first game at Oakham School for a decade, predicting conditions is tricky. However Nixon has said he expects a bit of pace and bounce, as well as the potential for a little turn. The match is set to start off dry but heavy rain and even lightning could arrive by mid-afternoon.
Date: 31st May 2018
Ground: Oakham School, Rutland
Odds (SkyBet): Leicestershire 5/4, Lancashire 8/13