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Specsavers County Championship

Preview: Lancashire v Yorkshire

Preview: Lancashire v Yorkshire

Match Preview: Lancashire CCC v Yorkshire CCC, Specsavers County Championship

Lancashire welcome the old enemy to Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow with the chance to go top of the Specsavers County Championship table.

Attention switches from 50-over to four-day cricket after three weeks away.

Although the Red Rose did not qualify for the knockout stages of the Royal London one-day Cup, they are in confident mood having won four out of their last five matches, including Tuesday’s clash at Durham when Dane Vilas scored a fine century.

The Red Rose have impressed in Championship cricket this year.

They were on top throughout the majority of each of their first two away games against Essex and Surrey, only to be denied wins.

Then, that win did come in their most recent fixture at the end of last month against Somerset at Emirates Old Trafford when they superbly recovered from being bowled out for 109 in the first innings to win by 164 runs.

It means they sit second in the Division One table, unbeaten and four points behind leaders Surrey and five clear of fourth placed Yorkshire.

THE MATCH

Lancashire CCC v Yorkshire CCC

Friday 19 – Monday 22 May

Emirates Old Trafford

Specsavers County Championship

OPPONENTS

Yorkshire have lost one, won one and drawn one as part of a mixed start to the new season.

They lost their opener to Hampshire at Headingley before drawing their most recent match with the same opponents at the Ageas Bowl.

Sandwiched in between, they hammered struggling Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Yorkshire have the leading run-scorer in the country in the form of new captain Gary Ballance.

He has scored 1,027 runs in 14 innings across all cricket, including 508 from five in the Championship.

They also have the joint Championship leading wicket-taker in the country in Ben Coad, who has 22 from three matches. That is more than anyone else in Division One and matches Kent’s Darren Stevens in Division Two.

Yorkshire will be without their five England players due to one-day international commitments.

But they will be able to call upon fit again seamers Ryan Sidebottom and Jack Brooks for the first time this season having recovered from late winter hamstring and calf injuries.

The White Rose have not lost a four-day fixture against Lancashire since July 2011.

LAST TIME OUT

Lancashire importantly had the better of a high-scoring draw at Emirates Old Trafford last August as they later avoided relegation, while Yorkshire missed out on a hat-trick of Championship titles.

Lancashire posted 494 in their first innings and took a lead of 134.

They then declared their second innings on 232-3 and set Yorkshire a target of 367 before lunch on day four.

Haseeb Hameed broke records with two hundreds in the match. He scored 114 and 100.

The 19-year-old went beyond 1,000 runs for the season, becoming the youngest Englishman in first-class cricket to ever achieve that feat.

He also became the first Lancastrian to score two hundreds in a Roses match.

Yorkshire easily saw out day four at 188-0, with Alex Lees also scoring a century.

WHAT THEY SAID

Dane Vilas is targeting a prolonged run of good form both personally and as a team as the Red Rose bid to extend their good start in four-day cricket.

Vilas was Lancashire’s leading run-scorer in the RL50 with 408 from eight innings, including hundreds against Worcestershire and Durham.

The 31-year-old has also reached 50 twice in the Championship so far.

“I’m hitting the ball nicely at the moment,” he said. “With form, you want to try and extend it as long as possible.

“I’ve done a lot of hard work in the nets working with Mark Chilton and Glen Chapple. They’ve helped me quite a lot. I want to keep learning and get some more runs for Lancs. We’re heading into the four-day stuff, and we’re pretty set in a good position.

“We played brilliantly in all three games. We were really unlucky in the first two games not to get at least one win. To cap it off in the last game against Somerset at home was really good.

“We’re pretty confident in the four-day stuff, and hopefully we have a good performance against Yorkshire.

“I’ve heard the Battle of the Roses can get quite spicy. We played that one-day game up at Leeds, and there was a bit of heat. It’s good to play in these sorts of rivalries. To be part of it is something special.

“I’m looking forward to playing them. Hopefully we can get one over them.

“Yorkshire are a quality team. They’ve got some unbelievable players, but we also have some really exciting players.”

OTHER FIXTURES

The other fixtures taking place over the weekend in the Specsavers County Championship are:

  • Somerset v Warwickshire, The County Ground
  • Middlesex v Surrey, Lord’s
  • Essex v Hampshire, The Cloudfm County Ground

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