Lancashire’s in-form opener Alex Davies believes confidence is growing that the side can mount a serious challenge on this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup.
After a narrow defeat to reigning champions Nottinghamshire, Lancashire responded with a thumping 192-run win at home to Durham – the third-highest margin of victory by runs in their List A history.
Davies broke records himself in that match, posting the highest List A score for Lancashire at Old Trafford of 147.
Lancashire haven’t made a Lord’s final since 2006 and have failed to progress from the group stage since 2012, but Davies says confidence is high as they move on to their third match of the competition, against Northants.
“I think we feel confident,” he said. “We know we weren’t at out best at all against Notts and yet we came close. If we play as well as we did (against Durham) and tighten up some areas we will be a tough team to beat.
“This competition has come at a good time, it gives you a bit of freedom to express yourself and go out and play. I was really happy with how I batted but happier that it contributed to a win.
“The team first is the kind of culture we want to live by and that’s what Liam (Livingstone) is trying to instil. Batting well is fine but we want to win at the end of the day and win trophies.”
Northants have also lost one and won one of their fixtures so far. Losing the opening game at home to Leicestershire was a disappointment, but they reacted well to upset Notts at Welbeck Colliery.
The Steelbacks are a side who have found greater success in the T20 format in recent years but will want to deliver similarly-impressive displays in the One-Day Cup this year.
Nathan Buck and Luke Procter will come up against their former side in this clash.
Northants can be encouraged by the performances of opener Josh Cobb, who has posted two half-centuries from the two innings thus far in the competition. His 90-ball 78 set up an impressive total that was ultimately beyond Notts, and Cobb is a key man in delivering runs on the board for the Steelbacks.
Lancashire’s opening pair have started the campaign in fantastic fashion. Davies was backed up by 73 from Keaton Jennings in a 175-run first-wicket stand against Durham. That followed a century of his own against Notts, where the left-handers’ 136 almost guided Lancashire to a superb chase. Jennings was aiming to make it four successive centuries across all formats and so comes into this match in sensational form.
Northants are likely to name the same side that clinched that victory against Notts, with Rob Newton an option if they want to make a change.
Northants Squad: Alex Wakely (c), Nathan Buck, Josh Cobb, Alex Crook, Ben Duckett, Brett Hutton, Rob Keogh, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, Rob Newton, Luke Procter, Adam Rossington, Ben Sanderson, Graeme White
Lancashire are also expected to be unchanged. Danny Lamb is added to the squad, with Graham Onions a possibility if Glen Chapple chooses to rotate the seam attack. Saqib Mahmood remains out injured.
Lancashire Squad: Liam Livingstone (C), Tom Bailey, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, Alex Davies, Keaton Jennings, Danny Lamb, Arron Lilley, Joe Mennie, Graham Onions, Matt Parkinson, Stephen Parry, Dane Vilas
Weather and Conditions
Sunny and warm is the forecast with temperatures touching 20 degrees.
Date: 23rd May 2018
Ground: The County Ground, Northampton
Odds (SkyBet): Northants 1/1, Lancashire 4/5