Lancashire suffered their fifth defeat from ten Friends Life t20 matches today as Notts gained revenge for last week's Championship reverse at Trent Bridge
Above: Junaid Khan celebrates his first Lancashire wicket
The Red Rose county were bowled out for 131 in 18 overs in their pursuit of 185, with Steven Croft’s 55 off 28 balls the stand-out performance as they went down by 53 runs under glorious skies.
The visitors, invited to bowl first by home captain David Hussey, were under pressure quickly because home openers Riki Wessels and Alex Hales added 85 in ten and a half overs for the first wicket.
Wessels hit 76 off 49 balls and Hales 60 off 38 as the Outlaws posted a daunting 184-4 just 72 hours after Lancashire had won the four-day match here by six wickets.
The Lightning lost Stephen Moore with the fourth ball of their chase as Chris Read took a stunning one-handed catch behind the wicket to give Darren Pattinson the scalp, but Croft ensured his side remained competitive for a while with five fours and three sixes.
The skipper and Tom Smith shared 44 for the second wicket, with Croft dominating as Hales had done earlier for Notts. He hit two sixes off Hussey’s part-time spin before launching left-arm spinner Graeme White down the ground.
But no other Lightning batsman made it to 20 as Steven Mullaney, Andre Adams and White all claimed two wickets each.
“Disappointing is the number one word,” said Sri Lankan Farveez Maharoof. “Losing the other night (against Durham) meant there was a lot on this. It was a must-win game. But we didn’t bring our A game, and it cost us pretty badly.
“Twenty20 cricket is all about momentum, and they are getting the runs and wickets in the first six overs. That is what we are lacking.”
Pakistani left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan returned figures of 1-35 from his four overs on debut, while Stephen Parry was the only other wicket-taker. The left-arm spinner picked up 2-33 from his four.
Parry bowled Hales and had Adam Voges caught at long-off by Jordan Clark.
Junaid, who bowled a lively opening over with the new ball, later ripped out Wessels’ leg stump with a yorker.
“He (Junaid) bowled well in pretty good batting conditions I thought,” assessed Maharoof. “Hopefully he’ll keep improving because he can be a key factor for us.”
After Moore’s departure, Smith miscued Hussey to cover before Luke Procter did similar to Luke Fletcher as the score slipped to 48-3 in the sixth over.
Maharoof then skied Mullaney’s medium pace to deep mid-wicket in the eighth over, Mullaney’s first. And Lancashire’s chances had virtually gone when Croft found Hussey running back from cover in Mullaney’s second over, leaving the score at 75-5 early in the tenth.
Gareth Cross and Jordan Clark then posted 18 and 16 respectively, but it was nowhere near enough for the visitors, who are back in 20-over action on Friday when Durham Dynamos visit Old Trafford.
Lancashire have six North Division fixtures remaining with five of them at Old Trafford.
Before then there is the top of the table clash with Durham in the Couinty Championship at Liverpool starting tomorrow.
Photo (c) John Walton?EMPICS Sport
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