Not the start we wanted

Posted in Domestic Cricket

Here at Lancashire the start to our LV= County Championship defence has been a mad one.

The first two games at Liverpool looked very winnable - we know how the pitch plays and we made it our fortress last year.

After winning the championship we trained even harder and everyone was totally prepared for the first two games. We went to Abu Dhabi and hammered a really good MCC team, so back-to-back defeats have been a surprise.

We got on the wrong end of the toss against Sussex. It was a definite ‘bowl first’ wicket. We struggled with the bat and Sussex played well.

In the end we were pretty much outplayed by a really good partnership against Warwickshire, with Rikki Clarke and Darren Maddy both making hundreds.

To be fair, we were thinking we might have them following-on. Speaking to Clarkey that night, he was in a “hit out or get out” situation. They were 81 for seven and I think if he had played defensively we would have bowled them out quite quickly with the way the pitch was.

He came out, counter-attacked and played really well with Darren. They took the game to us and in the end got themselves into a winning position from a losing position. Sometimes you’ve got to say “well played”.

The mood is still good and everyone is confident. We just need to get the first win and get the ball rolling. Everybody knows what they have got to do and what they are about.

We showed it last week against Warwickshire - we could have nicked a win in the end. They were five down at the end and if the target had been 100 I think we would have done it.

Like many of the games in the country, ours at Aigburth was rain-affected throughout. In the downtime I just switch-off, sit in the corner where I’m getting changed and stick my iPod in, trying not to listen to all the lads getting bored in the dressing room and talking your typical rubbish dressing-room banter.

Saj Mahmood takes some beating. He is always clowning about or up to something. Especially when there’s rain and people are hanging around for a few hours. He will always be up to something so you’ve got to keep your eye out for him.

This week it’s back down to the scene of the championship triumph. We always have tough games against Somerset. There’s no love lost between both teams.

Hopefully I might see a bit of grass on the wicket for once at Taunton - probably not - but it would be nice if there was a green tinge.

This is a massive game. Every game is big, but when you lose your first two you are just striving to get your first win. And there is no better place to do it than Somerset. They have a strong batting line-up and they know how to play cricket on that wicket.

It is big challenge for us, but one that we are ready for.

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