Karl Brown believes Lancashire are getting closer to success in limited overs cricket ahead of today's floodlit Yorkshire Bank 40 match against Derbyshire Falcons at Emirates Old Trafford, starting at 3.40pm.
The Red Rose middle order batsman was bitterly disappointed that his excellent 49 did not get the Lightning over the line in Wednesday’s Twenty20 quarter-final against Hampshire, in which they lost by one-run in their pursuit of 203.
Lancashire know, with four Group B matches left in the YB40, they may have to win the lot if they are to qualify for the semi-finals of this competition for the second year running.
After today’s clash, they face Scotland in Glasgow on Thursday, Hampshire Royals next Tuesday and Essex Eagles on August 26 both at Emirates Old Trafford. They will guarantee qualification for the semis by finishing top of the group, although may also qualify as the best second-placed finisher out of all the three groups.
The chance to gain revenge over Hampshire along the way is also a motivating factor.
Squad: Glen Chapple (capt), Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, Gareth Cross (wk), Kyle Hogg, Kabir Ali, Simon Katich, Arron Lilley, Stephen Moore, Oliver Newby, Ashwell Prince, Tom Smith
“We know it’s an important week because we’ve still got a chance in this comp,” said Brown. “If we can take the intent we showed the other night into the YB40s, I think we can get into the semi-finals and maybe have a chance of winning it.
“I think we’ve got to target the two games this week as two ‘must-win games’. Depending on how other results go, we might have to win the last two as well.
“I think it’s a good thing for us that we’ve got a chance to get one back on them (Hampshire). It could end up being like a quarter-final in the Twenty20. If we beat them that game, it could get us qualification. We don’t know yet.”
There have been a number of near misses during Peter Moores’ tenure as coach, which began in 2009, including last season’s semi-final reverse against Warwickshire. But Brown is determined to take the positives from that.
“Having got so close, it gives us that little bit of confidence that we aren’t that far away. If we put a couple of wins together, this could be our year,” he added.
“I just think we’ve played consistently well over the last few years in limited overs cricket, but when you get down to the latter stages of competitions, it can be won or lost in an over. Maybe things haven’t quite gone our way.
“I don’t think I can put my finger exactly on it, but I definitely think we’ve got a one-day trophy in us. If it’s not this year, then it will be very soon.
“A Lord’s final is definitely one of those occasions you look to at the start of the season. A Finals Day is great, but a one-day final at Lord’s, I don’t think it gets much bigger than that.”
The corresponding fixture between Lancashire and Derbyshire in this competition was washed out after just three overs at the County Ground in mid-May.
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh