Lancashire fan view: ‘Our no-fear cricket can win us the Blast again’

Lancashire fan view: ‘Our no-fear cricket can win us the Blast again’

Lancashire Lightning. Pic via YouTube, with thanks

 

Lancashire are Finals Day veterans and have made it to the T20 showpiece event for a seventh time. 

They got there courtesy of a quarter-final victory at Kent having finished third in the North Group.

But the performances in the Blast this season have Lightning fans believing they can win the competition for a second time.

DEC spoke to Lancashire fan Mikey Partington who started by explaining just why Glen Chapple’s side have made it to Finals Day.

“We have been back to our best this season in the Blast and I think that’s down to a re-emergence of an identity that spurred us on to becoming winners of the competition back in 2015.

“It’s a new head coach and a new captain since then but the instilled mentality and a brand of ‘no fear cricket’ has been exactly the same. Attacking the powerplay with aggressive batting and having good quality depth in spin bowling have been key to this makeup from Lancs again this year.”

Every side needs to have some star performers if they are to make it to this stage of the competition, so who does Mikey feel have been the key men for the Lightning?

“For me, it’s been team over individuals unlike in previous seasons, everyone has chipped in or played their part at some point in the competition. But obviously you have your standout players, Matt Parkinson for one who appears to be an even better player than the one that quickly emerged onto the T20 scene last season.

“You have to look at skipper Liam Livingstone too who was probably one of, if not the, most in-form player in the Blast before his injury.

“But obviously if you’re talking standout players in the side, you can’t go without mentioning Alex Davies. Having not played a T20 game for us since 2016, he’s been superb at setting the tone at the top of the order and has shown real maturity in his T20 game this season, more than deserving of that just under 60 average.”

The T20 Blast has always been a strength for Lancashire but Mikey explained why why getting to another Finals Day is exciting for supporters.

“Reaching Finals Day is massive for the club. Having struggled for both form and silverware across all three formats in recent years, a Finals Day appearance on Saturday is something that the Red Rose faithful are massively looking forward to.

“We have struggled for consistent form in white-ball cricket since winning the Blast a few years back as well as across the other two formats this season, so the T20 has provided a welcome arrival of enthusiasm in what has perhaps otherwise been a relatively challenging season at Emirates Old Trafford.”

Lancashire are battling for their survival in Division One after struggling in red-ball cricket this season. But if Mikey had to choose between staying in the top flight or lifting the trophy at Edgbaston, which would he go for?

“Staying in Division One of the County Championship is of course huge for the county, but as a fan if I had to chose between that and winning the Blast, it would have to be the silverware.

“You don’t win anything for finishing scraping to safety in red-ball cricket and a successful day at Edgbaston on Saturday would certainly live longer in the memory.

“T20 nights appear to have become the pinnacle of our season in recent years and so enhancing that reputation and adding another trophy to the collection would be massive for the club.”

The Lightning are in the first quarter-final on Saturday, taking on North Group winners but Finals Day novices Worcestershire. Mikey is confident that Lancashire can get through to the final and lift that trophy again.

“We go into Finals Day as underdogs once again, but as you know it’s anyone’s game once that first ball of the day is bowled.

“Obviously we have to get past Worcester first, which will be no easy task, having been beaten by them on opening night earlier this season.

“Then you have the winner of the South Group in Somerset and arguably the pre-tournament favourites in Sussex so it will be a steep uphill challenge for Glen Chapple and the side.

“I’m more than confident that we can go all the way again as I’m sure that the boys will be taking it one game at a time and focusing on their own abilities rather than the capabilities of the teams around them. If we play the brand of cricket that we have been known for this season, there’s no reason why we can’t light up Finals Day and turn Edgbaston into Redbaston once again!”

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