Sutton's Roses rallying call
Sutton's Roses rallying call

Lancashire’s stand in captain Luke Sutton has called for an improvement in the batting department ahead of Friday's crucial LV County Championship clash with Yorkshire at Headingley.

The Red Rose county are in need of an urgent boost ahead of the LV Division One fixture after being sent crashing out of the Friends Provident Trophy on Wednesday.

And Sutton, who leads the side in Leeds tomorrow in place of the broken finger victim Stuart Law, believes that more runs on the board are the basis for the better performances.

 "We need to raise our game, and there needs to be better performances all round," he said. "Sometimes you need to get off to a good start to build confidence. For one reason or another we haven't got enough runs on the board.

"That has been the basis where we have tended to go wrong in both one-day and four-day cricket. I think that what can often happen is that people lose confidence, and it can be quite difficult to get out of.

"All it takes is a couple of guys to put their hands up and make a big contribution. Then people tend to follow."

Sutton has also cast his mind back to last season's Roses Championship win at Headingley for inspiration ahead of the first four-day game between the two sides this season..

Yorkshire were bowled out for 144 in the first innings, before Lancs replied with 517. The hosts were bowled out for 247 in their second innings. Law smashed a brilliant 206, while Paul Horton confirmed a career best 149.

Sutton said: "It was actually a turning point in our season. We hadn't really been playing that badly, but we hadn't been hitting our straps. That game spurred us on a little bit. Let's hope that this game will do the same. A good win will do wonders for everyone.

"It was an excellent game for us last year. We started well, and set the tone. We need to try and make sure that we do the same again."

Despite Law's absence from the starting eleven, Lancashire's injury situation is beginning to improve.  Oliver Newby returned on Wednesday, while Dominic Cork and Tom Smith are back to strengthen the bowling attack.

"That has been very disruptive for the side as much as anything," continued Sutton. "The side has not been the same, it has had a different look nearly every game."

Sutton notched his career best 151 not out against Yorkshire in a Championship game at Old Trafford two seasons ago. And said: "Funnily enough, Yorkshire have always been a good team for me – even when I wasn't at Lancashire..

"Lancashire v Yorkshire games are always that little bit more special, and I really hope that I can make a good contribution to it. If we can get a win, then suddenly we are back at the top end of the competition."

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