A stunning display with the ball was the catalyst for Lancashire's Friends Life t20 ten-wicket win against Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Sunday
The Lightning strolled to a comprehensive victory with seven and a half overs to spare.
Stephen Parry, who notched a career best 4-23, and Sajid Mahmood led the way by sharing seven wickets as the hosts, invited to bat by captain Steven Croft, slumped 109 all out in 19.2 overs.
Opening pair Tom Smith and Stephen Moore then brutally destroyed the home bowling attack, hitting seven sixes and four fours between them, to record only the sixth case of a ten-wicket win in the history of English Twenty20 cricket. It was the second time that Lancashire had achieved the feat.
“It was a massive win for us,” said left-arm spinner Parry. “We’ve been playing really well, and we’ve shown that we’ve got great fighting spirit. We’ve just been beaten by Yorkshire. But, in general, we’re happy with the way that we’ve been playing.
“This sort of win has been coming. Hopefully now we can just win the tight ones.”
The Bears had started reasonably well with nine off the first over bowled by Croft, but it went rapidly downhill from there.
Mahmood struck twice in two balls in his first over, getting the dangerous Neil Carter brilliantly caught by a running Luke Procter on the deep square-leg boundary before trapping Varun Chopra lbw to leave the score at 10-2 in the second.
And the wickets tumbled rapidly from then on.
In-form Will Porterfield looped a catch to Jordan Clark at backward point off the bowling of Procter with only 31 on the board in the sixth over before Twenty20 expert Darren Maddy was trapped lbw by Parry with the last ball of the seventh over.
Maddy had swept the left-arm spinner for six earlier in the over, but fell trying to find the boundary again.
Rikki Clarke was the next to go, bowled comprehensively by a Parry quicker ball. And, when Tim Ambrose was caught behind by Gareth Cross off Gary Keedy an over later, the hosts were 67-6 midway through the tenth.
Captain Jim Troughton was also caught behind, but this time off Parry’s bowling in the 12th over.
And the 25 year-old claimed his fourth scalp when Keedy took a smart tumbling catch running in from deep backward square to send Keith Barker on his way. It left Parry with his best ever haul in Twenty20. But, more importantly, it left Warwickshire at 77-8 in the 15th over.
There was brief respite for the hosts, who secured a rare boundary thanks to a Steffan Piolet off-drive off Keedy, but it was only brief.
On his return to Red Rose colours, Farveez Maharoof bowled Chris Woakes for 12 with the first ball of the 17th over, leaving the score at 93-9.
Piolet finished as the innings top-scorer with 20, but he holed out to Smith on the deep square-leg boundary off Mahmood, who finished with 3-13 from 3.2 overs.
Parry had only taken two wickets from six outing prior to this after 26 last season, and he added: “Somebody said to me in the changing room that they were my best figures, and I hadn’t realised. I was happier that we’d won.
“I would have liked a couple more wickets than I’ve got so far, but I think I’ve bowled just as well as last season. I had a tough day at Derby. But, apart from that, I’ve bowled well in every game.”
Moore got Lancashire’s chase off to the perfect start by upper-cutting Woakes for six in the first over.
He then launched Carter’s left-arm pace over long-on and into the second tier of the new pavilion and then flicked him over mid-wicket for two sixes in the fourth over. And, with 33-0 on the board after four overs, Lancashire were cruising.
Smith then got in on the act with a pulled four and a six over long-on in two balls of Woakes in the fifth over, also pulling New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel for six in the ninth over.
Moore reached his fifty off 32 balls in the eleventh over, but Smith overtook him with the help of a couple more sixes over long-on off the spin of Patel.
Like Moore, left-handed Smith notched his half second half-century off 35 balls before hitting the winning run with a single to mid-off midway through the 12th over.
It was the fourth time the pair have passed 50 together this season, but they first time they have notched 100. Their opening stands so far read: 95, 40, 51, 88, 1, 25 and 110.
Lancashire face Nottinghamshire in the LV= County Championship at Trent Bridge tomorrow.
Their next Twenty20 assignment is against Durham Dynamos at the Durham Emirates ground on Friday, and this win has lifted them to third in the North Division table.
Photo (c) Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport
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