Kyle Hogg is desperate to end Lancashire's seven-year wait for a Lord's final appearance in this summer's Yorkshire Bank 40 competition, which continues with a crunch clash against Hampshire at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.
The Lightning seamer knows the floodlit encounter with the Group B leaders could be do or die for his side with only two group matches left, including Bank Holiday Monday’s home meeting with Essex.
Lancashire have named a 13-man squad, with Simon Kerrigan the only change due to his England call-up for the 5th Ashes Test. Hampshire have been forced into making four changes with England Lions call-ups for Michael Carberry, James Vince and Danny Briggs while overseas player Sohail Tanvir is with Pakistan in Zimbabwe.
Squad: Glen Chapple (capt), Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, Gareth Cross (wkt), Kyle Hogg, Kabir Ali, Simon Katich, Arron Lilley, Stephen Moore, Oliver Newby, Ashwell Prince, Tom Smith.
Hogg was superb in last Thursday’s Duckworth Lewis win over Scotland in Glasgow with 1-16 from seven overs.
The 30-year-old was an integral part in the county’s run to a last appearance in a one-day final in 2006 when they lost to Sussex in a low-scoring Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy 50-over final when the likes of Mal Loye, Mark Chilton, Stuart Law, Luke Sutton and Dominic Cork all played.
And he said: “Our objectives at the start of each season are to win every competition. The last time we were in a final was 2006, and you think about it now with the players that were in that team, some of them have been retired for years. The way we are playing we want to play in those big games.”
Second-placed Lancashire have been superb in the second half of their Group B campaign to put themselves in contention for a second successive semi-final appearance following three defeats in their first five matches.
But they need to win their final two, which would make it seven on the trot, and hope other results go their way.
Hampshire are without key trio Carberry, Vince, and Briggs due to Lions duty this week, plus Tanvir is absent and Hogg continued: “We got a bit of a bad start in this competition, but I think if we win the next two games we've got a good chance of going through.
“They're probably the form side in one-day cricket, but I think they've got a few missing who are involved in the England Lions. It will be good not to see Carberry for once!
“But you've got to play the best teams, and beat them, to win the competition. They are three massive players for them, but all we will do is try to go out there and perform well.
“I think we've shown with the Twenty20s that if you get on a bit of roll, you can put a few wins together. That's our aim. There's a lot to play for, and these are the kind of games you want to be playing in.”
Hampshire are three points clear at the top of the group with two matches to play. Their last fixture is away at Derbyshire Falcons on Monday. Top spot in each group guarantees qualification for the last four, although the best second-placed finisher from all of the three groups also progresses.
There is every likelihood that that race will come down to net run-rate. Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire, both in second in the other groups at present, have 15 points from eleven matches, while Lancashire have 13 from ten. Glamorgan, third in Group C, also have 13 from ten.
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh