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Team Talk STORY
Brown ready for battle

Lancashire Lightning travel to Headingley with a 14-man squad making the cross-Pennine trip for today's Friends Life t20 Roses clash.

Arron Lilley comes in to the squad in place of Simon Kerrigan who is attending a family member's funeral.

Lancashire Lightning squad: Glen Chapple (captain), Kabir Ali, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Gareth Cross (wkt), Steven Croft, Kyle Hogg, Simon Katich, Arron Lilley, Mitchell McClenaghan, Stephen Moore, Stephen Parry, Ashwell Prince, Tom Smith.

Yorkshire Vikings squad: Gary Ballance, Jack Brooks, Andrew Gale (captain), Andrew Hodd (wkt), Dan Hodgson, Phil Jaques, Adam Lyth, Liam Plunkett, Richard Pyrah, Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Joe Sayers, Ryan Sidebottom, Iain Wardlaw.

Karl Brown is ready for the battle of the Roses as Lancashire look to get their Friends Life t20 campaign back on track in the best possible way against Yorkshire Vikings in their own back yard.

The batsman from Bolton was the standout performer in the Lightning’s losing total of 151-8 against Derbyshire Falcons at the County Ground on Tuesday, scoring 50 off 39 balls with three sixes.

The Red Rose county will look to bounce back from successive defeats to win their second North Division clash from four, which would be a double boost for the county’s fans because it would put the skids under the Vikings’ chances in the process.

Andrew Gale’s side have played two, lost two so far in the competition after reaching the final last year.

Today's clash is a 15,000 sell out at Headingley, so there is no doubt that Brown and co are heading into the lion’s den. But the right-hander is relishing the prospect.

"I think everyone will be up for that one. They're always big games. There's usually a hostile crowd at Headingley, which all the lads enjoy. We love getting stuck in over there. It should be a good game,” he said.

"It's a great game against them any time, but this one's one I think we need to win. I think a game like that can put you on a bit of a good run. That's what we'll hope will happen.

"It's always good to beat them, and it's one of those games where nobody gives an inch. We'll be doing that Friday and so will they. They're great games to be involved in. We're disappointed about the other night, but there's no reason why the next two or three close ones can't go our way. That's what we'll be looking to do."

Brown has now scored three fifties in Twenty20, but he is central to a quirky stat in that he has never gone beyond 51. He chuckled when it was mentioned.

“Sometimes it depends what stage of the innings it is,” he continued. “I usually come in at four or five, and by the time I've got a fifty it's towards the back end of the innings and you're looking to score quick runs. You can get out any time. It's just the way it goes.”

Brown’s role has changed slightly this season from batting at number four to number five - behind Stephen Moore, Ashwell Prince, Steven Croft and Simon Katich.

“I don't think it's that much different as a role,” he added. “But sometimes batting five, having batted four last year, you go in slightly later, which can give you a bit more of a license. If you go in late on, you can play shots straight away. There's not much time to get in in Twenty20 cricket, but you've got to look to target the ropes if you go in at the end.”

If Brown finds the ropes with regularity, he will be a very popular young man with all connected to the Red Rose.

Graham Hardcastle
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh