Lancashire knocked out of One-Day Cup after defeat
Lancashire are out of the Royal London one-day Cup after their fourth defeat of the season, against Worcestershire by four wickets at New Road today.
The Lightning failed to defend their total of 267-7, which including Steven Croft’s 78 off 105 balls after he had elected to bat first in a must win fixture.
Lancashire struggled to gain any attacking momentum through their innings played out on a used pitch suiting pace off the ball.
They slipped to 81-3 inside 17 overs and later saw Worcester find the boundary with more regularity as Tom Fell anchored the chase with a maiden List A century.
Fell, 22-years-old, only returned to first-team action earlier this month having beaten two bouts of cancer since Christmas.
He finished with 116 not out off 123 balls to seal the win with 2.2 overs to spare to keep the Rapids’ hopes of quarter-final qualification alive ahead of tomorrow’s final round of matches.
Unfortunately, after giving themselves a chance of qualification with a win at Derby last Wednesday, Lancashire could not back it up here.
“We came here with high hopes of going back-to-back and trying to qualify, but we left it too late to start playing some good cricket,” said cricket director and head coach Ashley Giles.
“I don’t think we played as well as we have the last couple of days.
“I thought the score was good enough on that pitch. It was slow and difficult if you got the ball in the right area. But I don’t think we bowled anywhere near as well as we can.
“That was disappointing because over the last couple of games that has been our strong point.
“I thought generally we were good in the field, but it’s led by the bowlers a lot, and I thought a few were nowhere near.
“That’s a broad brush to paint, and although it wasn’t everyone, our standards were down.”
Lancashire’s innings was built around Croft’s second successive fifty after his 68 in the win over Derbyshire on Wednesday.
He hit one six, over square-leg off a full toss from the off-spin of George Rhodes, and six fours.
The skipper shared a partnership of 64 for the fourth wicket with Karl Brown, who made 43, and 99 for the fifth with Luke Procter, 47.
The innings was a steady accumulation, with leg-spinner Brett D’Oliveira conceding only 27 runs from his ten overs, while medium pacer Daryl Mitchell returned 1-41 with the wicket of Brown caught behind.
South African seamer Kyle Abbott returned the pick of the figures, 3-56.
He had Tom Smith caught at mid-off after a miscue and, having conceded three successive boundaries to compatriot Alviro Petersen, he had him caught behind the next ball for 32 to leave the score at 49-2 after nine.
Liam Livingstone edged Rhodes behind having earlier hit him for six before Brown fell in similar fashion to Mitchell as the score slipped to 145-4 in the 33rd.
Rhodes conceded his third six to Procter, over long-on, before Croft, Procter and Jordan Clark all holed out inside the last four overs of the innings.
Lancashire made a bright start to the defence, with Saqib Mahmood continuing his recent encouraging form by getting Mitchell caught behind at the start of his second over to leave the score at 12-1.
He and Kyle Jarvis then conceded 15 apiece off the seventh and eighth overs as the hosts moved beyond 50.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore hit Jarvis for six over long-on and Fell took Mahmood for three successive boundaries on the way to a 58-run stand.
But their alliance was broken by Smith, who forced Kohler-Cadmore to slice to deep cover in the eleventh for 30 - 70-2.
Fell and Joe Clarke took the score beyond 100 in the 17th over as Croft rang the bowling changes. He used six bowlers in the first 18 overs.
And him switching ends for Parry, from the New Road to the Diglis End, immediately did the trick as he had Clarke caught at short cover and D’Oliveira stumped in successive overs as the score fell to 122-4 in the 21st.
Unfortunately, Fell kept the Rapids on track.
He reached 50 off 47 balls, like Croft his second in a row in this competition. The hosts reached halfway at 135-4 and 30 overs at 166-4, needing a further 102.
The 22-year-old found a useful ally in powerful left-hander Ross Whiteley (38) with whom he shared 83 inside 17 overs for the fifth wicket before the latter was bowled by Croft in the 37th - 202-5.
Fell reached his century off 104 balls with 14 fours as Worcester reached 227-5 after 41 overs, needing 41 more to win.
He was involved in three half-century stands in all, the latter being 57 for the sixth wicket with Ben Cox, who holed out to deep mid-wicket off Mahmood for 31 with only six runs needed in the 47th.
Lancashire face Durham tomorrow in their final group game tomorrow. It is a floodlit fixture at Emirates Old Trafford, starting at 2pm.
It is, unfortunately, the Lightning’s last limited overs fixture of 2016 following a group stage exit in the NatWest T20 Blast earlier this weekend.
Giles added: “We can’t be fobbing games off. But if we think it’s a good experience for somebody to play, then we should give them a go.”