Simon Katich targets back-to-back wins over Northamptonshire as race for division two top-spot hots up

By Ross McLean

In-form batsman Simon Katich is fully focussed on reeling in league leaders Northamptonshire as the two sides go head to head at Emirates Old Trafford.

Lancashire trail the Wantage Road club by 33 points at the summit of LV=County Championship division two with the Red Rose eyeing an immediate return to English cricket’s top-flight.

Katich was awarded his county cap ahead of his side’s clash with the Scottish Saltires on Tuesday and believes their next couple of four-day fixtures could prove crucial.

“We knew this little period of cricket before Twenty20 was going to be crucial because Northants were starting to skip away from everyone,” he told Lancashire’s official website.

“But we’ve got them to play now and then again during Twenty20 and they’re two massive games for us to catch them and try and get in front of them.

“There’s no doubt that we want to knock them off top spot. It’s up to us to do the work now.

Former Australian international Katich scored his maiden century for the club in their last outing against Essex at Chelmsford.

And the 37-year-old is still in disbelief about bowling Essex out for 20, but hopes Lancashire can harness that momentum and take it into their clash with Northants.

“That was an amazing finish to a game – not many of us have experienced 14 overs of cricket like that in our careers,” he added.

“I’ve seen teams get rolled on day four of a game when the wicket’s deteriorating and they’re chasing a score but not like that on day three with the way the game was panning out.

“To go down in history, that’s amazing. You don’t ever start a game thinking that’s going to happen, but it’s nice to think we’ve been a part of something special.

“Hopefully we can carry it on into Northants.”

Northants – who include former Old Trafford all-rounder Steven Crook in their travelling party – are likely to prove Lancashire’s toughest opponents so far this summer.

The visitors are unbeaten in their eight champiosnhip games this year and have recorded four wins, although overseas star Trent Copeland has returned to Australia.

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