Lancashire second’s managed to withstand a valiant effort from minor county outfit The Unicorns, in a T20 fixture on neutral soil at Knypersley CC.
Having won the toss Lancashire opted to bat in order to put a competitive target on the board for the opposition to chase. The openers, Jordan Clarke and Luis Reece got off to a flyer as the pair raced along nicely to set up a solid platform in their innings with the bat, before the wicket of Luis Reece (32) fell shortly before the 10th over as Lancashire were sitting in a good position at 75/1.
Clarke continued to hit boundary after boundary as he rallied to a boundary ridden 60 off just 39 balls, before falling victim to a Sam Kelsall wicket.
Lancashire continued to grind out the runs despite not finding it as easily as those free-scoring earlier in the innings, with Brad Yates striking 22 in as many deliveries to increase the total to apply some pressure on the Unicorn bowlers, as Lancashire finished up on 143/7 off their 20 overs.
Jordan Clarke struck early for Lancashire, inside the first over as he claimed the wicket of Waqas Husein for a golden duck and with only his second delivery. Matters got worse for Unicorns as former Nottinghamshire batsman Sam Kelsall found himself back in the pavilion after Toby Lester got his first and only wicket of the game in the second over as Unicorns found themselves grounded on 5-2.
Incoming batsman Thomas Wood and Chris Whittock were determined to not let Lancashire’s grip on the game tighten as they determinedly played their side in to a much better looking position, driving their team to 86-2 before Whittock fell to spinner Matt Parkinson in the 11th over, for 44 off just 33 balls.
From then on Lancashire’s grip did indeed tighten as wickets began to fall, Parkinson claimed two inside three deliveries as he ensured that Lancashire were not going to let the game slip, after starting off so promising. However, Wood still was putting up a fight as he remained immovable on 54* as fellow batsman’s wickets fell around him as the Unicorns found themselves needing 20 runs to win in the 18th over, with three wickets remaining.
The Red Rose saw off the oppositions noble attempt to see themselves over the line as Parkinson starred with the ball to finish up with exceptional figures of 5/17.
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