LANCASHIRE head coach Peter Moores is confident his side can put their two group defeats by Essex behind them and gain revenge in Saturday's Friends Provident Trophy quarter-final.
Lightning suffered a five-wicket defeat at the hands of the Eagles at Old Trafford in the final Group D game today, following on from the six-wicket loss at Chelmsford earlier in the competition, and now face them in the last eight.
See the highlights plus an interview with Peter Moores tomorrow on www.Lancs.TV
However, Moores is confident Lancashire can book their place in the semi-finals.
“We know there are two or three areas where we can get better, little areas we know we can tweak which will make a difference for Saturday,” said Moores, whose side was guaranteed top spot in the group before the game. “When that draw was made I was pleased because we want to have another go at them.
“There is a burning passion from everybody here for us to win that game and we will give it absolutely everything we have got and I am very confident we will win because we have a good side which is playing well.”
Essex, passed their revised Duckworth/Lewis target of 207 from 46 overs with three balls to spare after a 124-run partnership by Alastair Cook, who was dropped by Paul Horton on seven, and Varun Chopra, both making 65.
However, with just four overs to go Lancashire looked to be in the driving seat with Essex still needing 36 and having lost four quick wickets.
But Matt Walker (35) and James Foster punished the Lightning bowling, with Kyle Hogg going for 16 off one over, and eased Essex home. Tom Smith was the pick of the Lancashire bowlers, taking 2-30 including the wicket of Cook, who was caught and bowled.
Earlier, Francois du Plessis (pictured) continued his recent good form with 51 as Lancashire made 214-7 from their 50 overs. He shared a half-century partnership with Mark Chilton as Lightning recovered from losing the early wickets of Smith and Ashwell Prince.
Du Plessis, later named Man of the Match, and Chilton moved the scores on to 125 when Chilton was trapped lbw by Danish Kaneria for 39. And, having brought up his half-century with a six off Chris Wright, du Plessis was out next ball, caught at point by Chopra.
Horton, having left the field for some treatment after being hit on the arm while on 18, returned to make 41 and help put on a quick-fire 37 with Luke Sutton before the opener’s middle stump was sent flying by Graham Napier’s final delivery with the score on 200.
Sutton, standing in as skipper for the injured Glen Chapple, finished unbeaten on 28 from 28 balls, while Hogg was caught at mid-on by Grant Flower off the last ball of the innings from David Masters.
Moores, meanwhile, is confident Chapple will have recovered from his calf strain to play on Saturday.
Chris Ostick, MAnchester Evening News
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd