Moore relishing Sussex clash
Opening batsman Stephen Moore insists Lancashire are full of confidence ahead of their Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Sussex tonight.
The Lightning, who finished third in the North Group, travel to a full-capacity PROBIZ County Ground on the back of six straight Twenty20 victories and are searching for their first finals day appearance in four years.
With Lancashire also second in LV= County Championship Division One and in contention to qualify for the Clydesdale Bank semi-finals, Moore maintains they are in good spirits ahead of their first encounter with Sussex in the shortest format of the game.
Moore, who played four second-team fixtures for Sussex early in his career, said: “We’re really looking forward to it. You play for those big days and big evenings.
“The way we played in those last six games was fantastic. The bowlers bowled beautifully and we chased down scores when we needed to. It was great Twenty20 cricket.
“The benefit is that we’ve been playing good cricket through all competitions. In the Clydesdale Bank 40 we’ve played well since the Twenty20 has finished and we’re a tough side to beat in the championship too.
“We’re taking a lot into that quarter-final down at Sussex. I’m sure that they’re not going to be happy with us coming down there.”
Moore, the Red Rose’s leading scorer in this season’s FLt20, is expected to be passed fit for the crucial encounter despite suffering a cut hand fielding in Friday’s CB40 victory over Gloucestershire at Old Trafford.
The inclusion of Sri Lanka all-rounder Farveez Maharoof also provides Lancashire with a welcome boost.
Captain Glen Chapple has been included despite limited appearances during the group stages, while the successful spin trio of Gary Keedy, Simon Kerrigan and Stephen Parry are available.
Pakistan seamer Junaid Khan, who has been used predominantly as a limited-overs bowler this season, is named in the party after making a huge impact in Twenty20 cricket this season.
The 21-year-old has formed a formidable partnership with fellow paceman Sajid Mahmood, who praised the performances of his overseas team-mate.
“Khany’s come in and bowled really well,” Mahmood said. “He’s set us up for a few wins.
"He’s only a young lad, and to do what he’s done in his first spell of county cricket is brilliant. To have someone like him is a massive bonus for our team.”
Sussex, the 2009 winners, have been boosted by the return of Pakistan paceman Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who, despite having been replaced by South African Wayne Parnell as the club’s overseas player last week, is available for selection.
Luke Wright is included in the Sharks squad but it is still unsure whether he will play a part after struggling with injury in recent weeks.