Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Lancs Plot a Glory Route ; but Wins May Not Be Enough to Reach Lord's

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Lancs Plot a Glory Route ; but Wins May Not Be Enough to Reach Lord's

Article excerpt

LANCASHIRE may have to get the calculators out as they bid to keep their dream of reaching a Lord's final alive.

Lightning head into a mustwin clash with Hampshire Royals at Emirates Old Trafford tonight knowing even victory in their final two group games may not be enough to secure a place in the semi- finals of the YB40.

With only the group winners guaranteed a place in the last four, Lancashire have to beat Hampshire and Essex Eagles at Emirates Old Trafford on Monday and hope the Royals also lose their final group game at Derbyshire.

Lancs could still qualify as the best runner-up from the three groups, but even two wins may not be enough with the teams in second place in the other two groups - Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire - already two points better off than Lightning, although they have both played a game more.

A host of other teams across all three groups are still also in what is turning out to be a complex qualification process in a scrap to reach the final four which could eventually come down to net run rate.

And although Lancashire go into tonight's clash with the Royals - who knocked them out of the Friends Life t20 at the quarter-final stage - on a run of five straight wins in the competition, seamer Kyle Hogg admits they will only have themselves to blame if they fail to qualify having suffered three early defeats in the group stage.

"A lot of this is our own fault," said Hogg, who played the last time Lancashire reached a Lord's final back in 2006.

"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.

"There's a lot to play for tonight, and these are the kind of games you want to be playing in.

"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."

Lancashire will be delighted Hampshire are without Michael Carberry tonight with the opener having blasted centuries against Lightning in both the YB40 and T20 this season. …

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