Livingstone hits half century as Lancashire win in Dubai
Lancashire completed a comfortable 33-run win over a Fly Emirates XI in today’s Twenty20 clash at the Sevens Ground in Dubai.
The NatWest T20 Blast champions did not have things all their own way having slipped to 49-4 after electing to bat first.
But Liam Livingstone enjoyed a good day with bat and ball to underpin their success.
His excellent, measured 54 off 36 balls ensured the Lightning got up to 137-8 on a spin-friendly pitch, while Jordan Clark was next best with 19 to add to a pair of 16s for Tom Smith and Arron Lilley.
Livingstone hit a six and two fours before returning 1-11 from two overs of leg-spin as the Emirates responded with 104-8, including a successful lbw appeal.
George Edwards was the pick of the Lightning bowlers with 2-3 from two overs with the new ball.
Kyle Jarvis, Gavin Griffiths, Stephen Parry, Lilley and captain Steven Croft all struck once, with eight bowlers used.
Griffiths was the only bowler to bowl his full allocation of four overs, finishing with 1-27.
Nigel Fernandes and Krishna Chandran hit 31 and 32 apiece for the Fly Emirates XI, who beat Lancashire a couple of years ago and would have had hopes of doing so again after early success with the ball.
This match was a warm-up for tomorrow’s four-team Emirates Airline T20 tournament at the same venue, with Lancashire facing the UAE national team in the morning semi-final.
The winners will play either Yorkshire or the MCC in the evening final.
“We knew this was going to be tricky because we’ve played here before, and they are used to their conditions,” said Livingstone, fresh from a winter of grade cricket in Perth, where he has been working closely on his bowling with former Australia international Brad Hogg.
“They bowl a lot of spin, and the wicket was quite tough early on. It was quite nice to go in with a plan and it come off.
“It wasn’t easy to go out and blaze it everywhere. You’ve got to try and get yourself off strike and set it up for the end, really.
“It’s always nice to start the season with a few runs and go back home with some confidence.
“It’s big day tomorrow. Obviously we are going to be a target for teams having won the competition back home.
“Hopefully we can win a couple of games of cricket and win the tournament.”