GLEN Chapple expects Matthew Parkinson to play a key role in Lancashire’s final three Specsavers County Championship matches of the season.

The England Lions leg-spinner, 21, was a surprise omission from the Red Rose team which beat Worcestershire inside three days at Southport last week, with South Africa Test left-armer Keshav Maharaj preferred as the only spinner.

Lancashire’s win gave them a huge boost in their fight against relegation, with Maharaj contributing three second-innings wickets on his overseas debut.

The Red Rose, two points above the relegation zone in fifth place, visit Taunton, Headingley and the Ageas Bowl during the final month of the season, and there is an extremely good chance that the former and the latter will produce two-spinner pitches.

Taunton is first up today (10.30am), where second-placed Somerset lie in wait. They have England fringe spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess in their squad.

“Parky is a quality spinner, and he’s still learning,” said coach Chapple. “We didn’t want all the pressure of winning matches to fall on his shoulders.

“Spinners can play an important part at the back end of the season. Keshav’s a world-class spinner.

“Also, when you look at signing players at this stage of the season, you are limited.

“We didn’t want to go for an ok player, we wanted to go for a proven Test performer, and we’ve got that.

“The two of them can play together.

“Some of the places we are going to are places that prefer to play spinning pitches. It gives us options either way depending on what they produce.”

Lancashire’s stand-in captain Dane Vilas was the go between in the Maharaj deal given he plays with the 28-year-old for Durban based franchise the Dolphins.

“Chappie and the management were asking me if I knew anyone, and I put Kesh’s name into the mix knowing the quality spinner he is,” said the wicketkeeper batsman, who scored a brilliant 107 not out as Lancashire chased down 314.

“Playing a lot of games against him and most recently with him for two years at the Dolphins, I knew the quality he would bring to this squad.

“He’s a class bowler who will contribute. He’s also a good man around the team.

“In these last few games, we need some players to step up and get us some results quickly.”

Maharaj has taken 90 wickets in 22 Test Matches since debuting in late 2016 against Australia in Perth.

He has just returned from a two-Test tour of Sri Lanka, where he took 16 wickets as South Africa lost the series 2-0, including a nine-wicket haul in the first innings of the first Test at Colombo.

Vilas added: “Kesh's game has definitely moved to that next level in the last few years, which you would expect to happen moving into the international arena - a high pressured environment.

“He’s the only spinner in the team for the majority of the time, meaning he has to step up quickly. And he has done.

“He’s just come back from Sri Lanka, where he was up against one of the best left-arm spinners going in Herath. He went toe to toe with him for wickets.

“He’s proving his worth all the time and has come along quickly from where he started off.

“He’s settled in quickly with us.”