Lancashire Lightning, fired by star trio Tom Smith, Francois du Plessis and Kyle Hogg, began their Friends Provident Trophy campaign in stunning fashion with a thumping 80-run win over Glamorgan Dragons at Old Trafford today.
Smith and du Plessis both hit 66 to help post a challenging score of 241-6 from their 50 overs, while Hogg claimed bowling 3-21 from eight overs as the visitors were bowled out for just 161 inside 41 overs. [Scorecard]
Sajid Mahmood also got in on the act late on as he took two late wickets to finish with an impressive analysis of 3-17 off 7.2 overs.
Lancashire coach Peter Moores was given a pre-match boost by the ECB bosses, who made England pace bowler James Anderson available for the match. The 26 year-old sent Michael Powell’s off stump cart-wheeling on the way to figures of 1-17 from six overs.
“I asked the question if I could play because I thought I needed a little bit of cricket before the first Test, and I got the nod,” explained Anderson. “I mentioned it to Glen Chapple, who put the wheels in motion to ask the right people.
“When you have two weeks off and go straight into a four-day game you could potentially have 100-odd overs in the field, so to get a good 50 under my belt has helped a lot.
“I think I am (type of bowler who needs to keep bowling). I am a rhythm bowler, and to keep that going I need to bowl reasonably regularly. I obviously need a little bit of rest here and there. I am feeling really fresh. I have had ten days off, a few days back in training, but I feel fresh.
“It couldn’t have gone much better, and everything went according to plan. It is an important competition for us. We really enjoyed playing in it - we got to the final a couple of years ago, so it is important to get off to a good start.”
Moores will also have been delighted knowing that two men whom he gambled on came up with the goods with the bat.
First Smith, opening the batting with Mal Loye sidelined due to injury, followed up his maiden first-class century against the students of Durham last week with his highest one-day score.
And South African Kolpak batsman du Plessis only arrived in the country on Saturday morning after a delay with his visa. He had only just hopped off a 14-hour flight with only one net session in English conditions against Anderson under his belt before arriving at the crease with Lancashire 94-3 in the 21st over. Mark Chilton had just departed for a valuable 28.
Man of the Match Smith faced 90 balls, cracking six fours and one six, while du Plessis hit six fours in his 72-ball knock.
The Lancashire bowling attack then decimated the visitors reply with an outstanding display to leave Glamorgan at 38-5 in the 15th over. Hogg took three wickets, Anderson one and Mahmood one to put the home side firmly in charge.
Wicketkeeper Mark Wallace hit a fine 61-ball 60 to bring some respectability for the visitors, but captain Glen Chapple claimed two late wickets in consecutive balls, while Mahmood also nipped in with two late scalps to finish with an impressive analysis of 3-17 off 7.2 overs. The Lightning romped home by 80 runs to get their Trophy campaign off to a flying start.
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd