Lancashire lost their Twenty20 warm-up game today in Dubai
Lancashire were comfortably beaten by Sussex in a warm-up match for tomorrow’s Emirates Airline Twenty20 competition at the Sevens ground in Dubai this morning, losing by eight wickets with 16 balls to spare as they could not defend 119.
The Lightning open tomorrow’s competition against a Fly Emirates XI (7am UK), for which they warmed up by posting 118-9 thanks in the main to Andrea Agathangelou’s encouraging 42 off 34 balls at the top of the order.
Right-handed Agathangelou hit four fours and a six - out of the ground over long-off as he faced the spin of Michael Rippon - before new signing Wayne White added a couple of maximums in a late 29 off 19 balls.
“It was nice to get back into it and shake off some rust,” said 23-year-old Agathangelou, who has spent the winter in South Africa playing club cricket and spending time with his family.
On a pitch offering plenty of signs of uneven bounce, Sussex seamer Chris Jordan prospered with 3-14 from four overs, including a key wicket of captain Steven Croft caught at point off the splice of the bat to reduce the score to 12-2 in the fourth over.
Stephen Moore had dragged on to left-arm seamer Lewis Hatchett with the first ball of the match after Croft had elected to bat.
The Lightning steadied through opener and top-scorer Agathangelou, but they were undone by losing four wickets in the last three overs, including destructive White.
Sussex opener Chris Nash then underpinned a routine chase with an unbeaten 76 off 59 balls, including 10 boundaries. He looked as comfortable as anybody else on show with the willow as he shared an unbroken 71 in 11 overs for the third wicket with Joe Gatting, 20 not out.
Medium pacer Jordan Clark was the only Lancashire bowler to strike by getting Mike Yardy caught at short mid-wicket in the fifth over before Simon Kerrigan affected the run out of Rory Hamilton-Brown as he attempted a second run to long-leg. Oliver Newby returned the pick of the Lancashire figures as he conceded only 18 runs from his four overs.
“It is very important for us to take things out of these games, and we certainly did that, reflected Agathangelou at the end of the game."We lost a couple of early wickets, but we managed to build up again. If you take the bowlers, it was the first time they had bowled outdoor in a really long time so I think they hit their straps really well.
“I had a bit of time out in the middle, which is always nice. I enjoyed it a lot.
“It was a funny wicket really. There was a little bit more bounce and seam early on, as you would expect in any wicket, but then it played alright towards the end. It probably played a bit in their favour, but it wasn’t a match-changing at all. It was a good cricket day all around. I think they just outplayed us in the end.
“To be fair to Chris Nash, all credit’s got to go to him because he played a really good knock. He didn’t offer any chances, he ran well between the wickets and hit the odd boundary. He controlled the game really nicely.”
The MCC and Sussex will play the other semi-final at the Sevens ground tomorrow.