In the only T20 fixture of the day, Old Trafford is set for a battle between two sides in contrasting form.
2015 champions Lancashire have made a solid start to their campaign, bouncing back from defeat to Worcestershire with victories over Derbyshire at the County Ground and Northants at Old Trafford.
Their batsmen in particular have impressed, easily chasing down totals in their last two matches thanks to top-order runs from Liam Livingstone, Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings. That has been complemented by strong displays from their spin department as Lancashire’s confidence appears to be building.
Derbyshire, who made Finals Day last season, have begun their T20 Blast season with three successive defeats and were beaten by Notts on Friday night – meaning they will have to bounce back quickly for this encounter.
It’s Bails and Ales Drinks Festival at Old Trafford across the weekend, with screenings of the World Cup third/fourth play-off during the T20 match and the final on Sunday. There ought to be plenty of celebrations around the ground and Lancashire will want to continue to celebrate on the field.
There’s also a celebrity darts event after the match as part of Steven Croft’s testimonial season. He is expected to play though, which would extend his run of consecutive T20 appearances for a single side to 147.
He’s already moved to second on the worldwide list – ahead of Virat Kohli and is chasing down Suresh Raina’s record of 158 consecutive appearances for the Chennai Super Kings.
There can’t be many more promising spinners in world cricket right now than Lancashire’s 21-year-old leg-spinner Matt Parkinson – especially in white-ball cricket. His 2-14 from four overs against Northants last weekend was pivotal in limiting the Steelbacks to a below-par total and he avoided conceding a boundary, a rare feat for a bowler in T20 cricket. Parkinson is a key weapon for skipper Liam Livingstone and a key cog in Lancashire’s attack.
Lockie Ferguson comes into this match off the back of an excellent display in defeat to Notts, taking 4-26. It’s a short turnaround for Derbyshire but Ferguson should carry great confidence into his trip to Old Trafford and will hope to spearhead the Falcons attack once again.
Lancashire are unlikely to make changes from the side that dispatched Northants. Their spin bowling options are a real weapon, with the potential to get 16 overs from Parkinson, Lilley, Livingstone and Parry – not to mention to further option of Steven Croft.
Lancashire Squad: Liam Livingstone (c), Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, Alex Davies, James Faulkner, Keaton Jennings, Toby Lester, Arron Lilley, Joe Mennie, Graham Onions, Matt Parkinson, Stephen Parry, Dane Vilas
Northamptonshire Squad: tba
Weather and Conditions
It’s set to be dry and fine at Old Trafford, where there has been a good amount in the wicket for bat and ball of late. The spinners tend to find a little grip from the surface.
Date: July 14th 2018
Ground: Emirates Old Trafford
Odds (SkyBet): Lancashire 1/2, Derbyshire 13/8