Petersen hits unbeaten century but Lancs defeated
Lancashire, led by a stunning century from Alviro Petersen, failed to chase down 208 to beat Leicestershire as their NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final hopes severed a huge blow at Grace Road tonight.
The Lightning went into their 12th North Group fixture knowing they realistically had to win their remaining three matches to have any chances of progression.
And while they are not mathematically out of contention having responded to the Foxes’ 207-3 with 198-4, they do now have to win their last two against Durham and Birmingham and hope for other results to go their way.
Petersen reached his first career T20 century off 52 balls with the last ball of the match with 14 needed, and he hit 10 fours and four sixes.
But the visitors lost by nine runs to slip to the bottom of the North Group.
Lancashire have now struggled with the ball in the last two matches, here and against Derbyshire at the County Ground on Wednesday.
In good batting conditions here, they were hurt by 76 from opener and captain Mark Pettini, who hit five fours and four sixes in 51 balls and Cameron Delport’s 68 off 36 with two fours and four sixes.
Leicestershire’s highest ever T20 total at Grace Road, and their third highest in all, was built around the pair’s second-wicket stand of 140 inside 13 overs.
They combined power and invention, with Delport particularly explosive to the leg-side.
This was only the fourth time in T20 cricket that Lancashire had conceded 200 or more in an innings, and only Nathan Buck, George Edwards and Jordan Clark struck.
Tom Smith was the pick of the Lancashire bowlers with 0-23 from his four overs in an innings which saw eleven sixes hit.
Lancashire reached 46-1 after six overs, with their score identical to Leicestershire’s at that stage. Luis Reece had been bowled by Richard Jones.
Unfortunately, Karl Brown followed at the start of the seventh when he miscued Rob Sayer’s off-spin to a juggling Delport at long-off.
Liam Livingstone, caught behind off Jones, followed in the ninth before Lancashire reached halfway at 69-3, needing 139 more with Petersen and Steven Croft at the crease.
Seventeen runs came off each of the 12th and 13th overs from Farhaan Behardien and Ben Raine as Petersen, who swept the former for six, stepped up the rate to reach 112-3 with seven left.
Lancashire needed 89 off the last six overs, with Croft then lofting Sayer straight down the ground for six to move to 36. But he perished a ball later, caught at deep mid-wicket.
Petersen reached a 32-ball fifty with a straight six with the next ball of the 15th over.
He pulled Jones for six in the next, his third, before the equation became 58 off 24 balls at 150-4 after 16 overs.
Australian Clint McKay bowled a brilliant over of variations in the 17th to concede only three runs.
Petersen hit three fours and six off Rob Taylor in the next to move to a career best 87, with 36 now needed off the last two, which became 29 off the last.
Petersen pulled Taylor for four with the final ball, but he had been left with too much to do. He became Lancashire’s fourth T20 centurion and first since 2008.