Captain Liam Livingstone praises Joe Mennie as Lancashire look to bounce back at Essex

Liam Livingstone
Liam Livingstone

Liam Livingstone has hailed Joe Mennie’s debut performance with the Lancashire captain determined to look on the bright side following their opening round home defeat to Nottinghamshire.

The new skipper says his side will dust themselves down ahead of Friday’s trip to Chelmsford to face reigning county champions Essex having been skittled out for just 73 on the final morning against Notts.

New Australian professional Mennie was the Red Rose’s standout performer at Old Trafford, taking three wickets in each innings.

That included 3-4 from two overs in the second innings on Monday’s fourth day as he made the visitors sweat a touch chasing a target of only 10 before they won by six wickets.

Livingstone said: “I think Joe bowled really well in his first game.

“I thought he was brilliant in the first innings and very unlucky. On another day, he could have had six or seven wickets.

“Joe has fitted in really well. He’s a great lad, and in the first innings there were a few times where he was done and I said ‘Can you just bowl one more?’ - and he’s happy to do it for the team.”

Livingstone also praised the 29-year-old South Australian’s fellow new signings Graham Onions and Keaton Jennings.

“Joe’s great to have around,” he said.

“But Bunny (Onions) is exactly the same and Keats has fitted in really well as well.

“The squad is there and the team is there. We’ve just got to forget this one and start again on Friday at Chelmsford.”

Lancashire’s batting strength has been highly praised during pre-season but it was their bowlers who kept them in the game against Steven Mullaney’s men.

“Tom Bailey also bowled really well first innings,” said Livingstone.

“We’ve also got Jordan Clark. Okay, he didn’t bowl great in the first innings, but he’s bowled really well all winter.

“We’ve got four high-quality seamers with Saqib Mahmood maybe in contention for Friday.

“Who knows, Jimmy (Anderson) could also be back for two or three of the games leading into the Test matches. Our bowling attack looks strong.

“We’ve also got two spinners in Matt Parkinson and Stephen Parry. We’ve got a great batting line-up as well, but it’s up to us to take it on and, once we get in, make some big scores.”

England Lions paceman Mahmood missed the Notts game through injury.

Last season, Lancashire drew both games with Essex as they were the only side the champions did not beat all season.

They started their defence with a washed out draw against Yorkshire at Headingley, where not a ball was bowled across the four days.