On an evening severely hampered by the weather, Durham dodged the rain to dispatch Northamptonshire by seven runs on Friday night.
It was a fabulous start for James Franklin’s side and they will hope to continue the momentum when they head to Emirates Old Trafford to take on Lancashire on Sunday.
The Lightning had no such luck, as heavy downpours forced their clash against Leicestershire to be abandoned.
However, such is the nature of the Vitality Blast. There is often a game around the corner and Lancashire will want to get their campaign up and running with a win against their Northern rivals.
There may well be extra motivation for the hosts, as they somehow managed to throw away victory against Durham last season. Conspiring to lose three wickets in the final over to Liam Trevaskis, when just six runs were needed.
They will be cheered on by a record crowd for a non-roses domestic T20 match at Old Trafford in their quest to right the wrongs of that defeat, but they must be wary of a Durham outfit on an upward trajectory since losing their opening four Championship matches of the summer.
The injury to Liam Livingstone has left a major hole at the top of the Lancashire batting order. In Alex Davies, however, they have one of the most exciting young players in the country. Davies missed most of the first half of the summer after breaking his thumb, but has been in excellent form since returning, his wonderful 147 helping set up a Championship victory over Northamptonshire earlier this month. The 24-year-old has serious pedigree in T20, he finished as Lancashire’s top scorer in this format in 2018, with 534 runs, as the Red Rose reached finals day.
There are a number of exciting overseas stars playing in this year’s Vitality Blast and, in D’Arcy Short, Durham may have one of the best. The Australian’s 46 was the main contribution towards Durham’s 148-4 in their win over Northamptonshire and expect greater things from the opener, who has finished as the top scorer in the Big Bash in the last two years. He will be hoping to help his side continue their good start to the competition at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Glenn Chapple has named a 14-man squad for Lancashire’s first home match of the competition. Expect a similar XI to the one selected against Leicestershire on Friday night, before the rain intervened.
Lancashire Lightning Squad: Dane Vilas (c/wk), Josh Bohannon, Steven Croft, Alex Davies, James Faulkner, Richard Gleeson, Liam Hurt, Keaton Jennings, Rob Jones, Danny Lamb, Toby Lester, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Parkinson, Stephen Parry
Durham have named the same 13-man squad from the victory over Northamptonshire. They remain without Cameron Bancroft, who will be involved in an intra-squad Ashes warm-up fixture next week.
Durham Squad: Stuart Poynter (c/wk), Jack Burnham, Brydon Carse, Graham Clark, Alex Lees, Matthew Potts, Ryan Pringle, Ben Raine, Nathan Rimmington, Chris Rushworth, D’Arcy Short, Scott Steel, Liam Trevaskis
Weather and Conditions
After a couple of days of solid rain there will be some relief that sunshine is forecast across the country on Sunday afternoon. In Manchester temperatures could reach as high as 23 degrees, meaning there is little chance of another abandonment.
Date: July 20 2019
Ground: Emirates Old Trafford
Odds (Paddy Power): Lancashire 4/7, Durham 11/8