Lightning v Jets - NatWest T20 Blast
A career-best 61 by Liam Livingstone helped Lancashire Lightning to a convincing 31-run victory over Durham Jets in the NatWest T20 Blast at Emirates Old Trafford today.
Livingstone’s effort, together with an excellent 64 run partnership off 37 balls between Ryan McLaren and Stephen Croft saw the Lightning score 174-5, a total that was then expertly defended by the Red Rose attack as Durham could only muster 143-8 in reply.
This third win of the campaign lifts Lancashire back into second place in the North Group table, level with both Yorkshire Vikings and Leics Foxes on 8 points, the Foxes having played one game less.
After Lancashire skipper Croft won the toss, Livingstone found himself requiring treatment after just four balls when he was hit on the arm by a sharply rising delivery from Chris Rushworth.
The Lightning opener hit back in style, hitting Rushworth for sixes in both the third and fifth overs and reaching a 34-ball half century when driving Paul Collingwood straight for 4 in the 10th over, which Lancashire reached on 73-3.
At that point the game appeared to be fairly evenly balanced and the visitors were soon encouraged when Livingstone fell for 61 sweeping at Ryan Pringle from the last ball of the 12th over with Lancashire 91-4.
Dane Vilas drove Pringle over extra cover for 6 in his brief innings of 20 before McLaren and Croft combined with an expertly judged partnership of 64, a T20 record for the 6th wicket by Lancashire against Durham, over the final six overs.
The pair both a six in the final over of the innings to put the seal on a 174 run total, McLaren ending on 32 not out off just 18 balls and Croft unbeaten on 35 from 25.
Durham were handicapped in their innings by the loss of Adam Hickey who injured a shoulder attempting to take what would have been a great diving catch, but sadly the opening batsmen instead departed with his arm in a sling and clearly unable to bat.
The visitors started brightly with Graham Clark attacking to good effect with a 19-ball innings of 24 before he fell to a good catch at deep cover by Livingstone off McLaren in the 5th over.
The Jets reached the end of 6 over powerplay on 48-1 but the introduction of spin saw the boundaries start to dry up, with just two struck in the next five overs, as the Lightning attack took charge.
Matt Parkinson struck with his second ball, debutant Gareth Harte lbw sweeping for 11, and wickets then fell at regular intervals as the Durham reply stumbled.
Jordan Clark struck with two wickets in one over on his way to figures of 3-36, while Parkinson took a second later on to complete another good outing with 2-23 from his four overs.
Durham fell from a position of 77-2 in the 11th over, losing three wickets for 13 in 14 balls, and their innings never recovered despite a hard-hitting innings 29 off 16 balls by Coughlin down the order.
Junaid Khan took 1-23 and McLaren 2-35 as the Jets finished on 143-8.