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News STORY
21st May 2013
Horton out of Hants trip

Lancashire take a 15-man squad to Southampton, but will be without Paul Horton for up to six weeks following his operation to repair a dislocated finger.

The opening batsman injured the ring finger on his right hand during training but played through the pain barrier on Sunday to captain the Lightning to victory against Surrey in the Yorkshire Bank 40 at Emirates Old Trafford.

However, scans revealed instability in the joint after two previous dislocations, which required a minor procedure to rectify.

Lancashire Lightning squad v Hampshire Royals, Yorkshire Bank 40 match
Glen Chapple (capt), Andrea Agathengelou, Karl Brown, Steven Croft, Jordan Clark, Gareth Cross (wkt), Kyle Hogg, Simon Katich, Simon  Kerrigan, Stephen Moore, Oliver Newby, Stephen Parry, Ashwell Prince, Luke Procter, Wayne White.

Hampshire Royals squad: Michael Carberry, James Vince, Jimmy Adams, George Bailey, Sean Ervine, Liam Dawson, Adam Wheater, Chris Wood, Danny Briggs, Dimitri Mascarenhas, David Griffiths, Glenn Querl.

Meanwhile, Peter Moores has revealed the reasoning behind keeping Steven Croft away from captaincy duties ahead of tomorrow’s clash with defending champions Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Croft, who has been Glen Chapple’s stand-in for both limited overs and Twenty20 matches for the last two seasons, has not led the side in the first three YB40 fixtures this season.

Simon Katich captained against Durham Dynamos and Derbyshire Falcons before Paul Horton stepped in against Surrey on Sunday when the Australian was struck down with a back spasm.

Croft captained Lancashire in sixteen 40-over matches across two seasons, winning eight, and 16 Twenty20 matches, winning nine. He also stepped in for the final LV= County Championship match of last season.

The all-rounder has been a vital part of the Lightning’s limited overs plans since breaking into the side regularly in 2006, and is arguably even more so now due to his ever-improving off-spin bowling.

Fresh from a spell as the specialist Twenty20 overseas player for New Zealand side Northern Knights, he really is the definition of a three dimensional cricketer.

Lancashire defended 177 against Surrey at Emirates Old Trafford, and Croft took 1-21 from eight overs and also took a crucial catch to help Wayne White get rid of the dangerous Zander de Bruyn as the visitors slipped to 145-7 in the 36th over.

Coach Moores said: “I was really pleased with Steven. Part of the reason why he is not captaining is that we want to keep him free. He is such an influential one-day player for us, he does everything, and his bowling is getting better and better.

"He has real confidence, you saw him change pace, take the pace off the ball. To the left-handers he posed real problems. It is a great advantage to have someone who is a top order batsman who can bowl like that.”

Lancashire’s seven-run win got their YB40 campaign off and running after a defeat and a No Result.

It was their third come-from-behind success of the season so far after Championship wins against Glamorgan and Essex, and they head to the South Coast to face a Hampshire side who top Group B having won three from four matches full of confidence.

“It is the third time in the space of a month where we have won games we have really had no right to win in some ways,” said Moores. “They are key wins for us because we had to play very good cricket to do it.

"It is really good for us to be winning when we are not playing our best cricket because it means when we get our purple patch then we will hopefully be winning more games without the grey hairs!”

Lancashire won nine of 12 matches last season to top Group A and qualify for the semi-finals, two more than Hampshire and Sussex needed to win Groups B and C respectively.

Left-arm spinner Stephen Parry, who claimed career best figures of 5-17 against Surrey, believes the winner of this year’s Group B may need closer to seven than nine to advance.

He added: "I feel if we can get on a bit of a roll in this competition, it is quite a tough group, so we might need a few less wins to come top because I think a lot of sides will beat each other. Hampshire, Essex, ourselves and Surrey are all good one-day sides, and I can see all of us winning a lot of matches. There are no easy games."

Graham Hardcastle
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh

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