Ashwell Prince hit his highest one-day score for Lancashire today to put them in sight of qualifying for the quarter finals of the Friends Provident Trophy.
The South African Test star hit 78 off 97 balls to be the cornerstone of the Lightning’s pursuit of 212 against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Old Trafford.
See the highlights, plus an interview with Ashwell Prince tomorrow on www.Lancs.TV *
Lancashire, who are fighting holders Essex for top spot in Group D, won by six wickets, and currently sit on eight points after five games. Coach Peter Moores believes ten points will secure a place in the last eight, and the Lightning face Derbyshire Phantoms at Derby tomorrow.
“We have an idea of what will get us there for definite,” said Prince, who shared a second wicket partnership of 97 with Paul Horton (46). “I think another four points will top the group, whereas another two points will get us into the quarter finals.”
Northants did well to recover from 97-5 in the 26th over of their innings, and 129-7 in the 32nd, to post a respectable 211-9 from their 50 overs. Captain Nicky Boje led the way with 50 off 57 balls, including five fours and one six, while Alex Wakely and David Lucas both hit 32.
Glen Chapple returned the pick of the Lancashire figures with 2-32 from ten overs. Gary Keedy also claimed two wickets but went for 42 runs from his seven overs. Tom Smith, Kyle Hogg and Sajid Mahmood snared a wicket each.
“We were disappointed (with the defeat at Essex) on Sunday, it wasn’t a great performance. But there was great character from the guys to come back and pick ourselves up,” continued Prince.
“We started well with the ball, and finished well with the bat. The most important thing was to be strong mentally. There are a lot of games on top of each other, and there can be tired bodies. The guys showed they were ready today.”
Lancashire were sharp in the field, the prime examples being the run outs of Boje and Monty Panesar. But the Lightning will have been disappointed to concede 33 extras.
Chapple picked up his wickets in the first 12 overs after he invited to visitors to bat. He had Riki Wessels caught at deep square leg by Croft and trapped Niall O’Brien (23) lbw to leave Northants 37-3. Hogg had Andrew Hall caught behind by Luke Sutton in between.
Mahmood had Rob White well caught at cover by Prince, and Keedy bowled Mark Nelson in his second over to leave the visitors five down.
Boje helped take 13 off Keedy’s third over with a swept six and a four, but was run out from short mid-wicket by Mark Chilton and Francois du Plessis five balls after reaching a 52-ball half century.
Keedy trapped Willey lbw in the 32nd over before Wakely and Lucas put on 40 for the eighth wicket. Wakely was caught by Croft at cover off Smith. Panesar was the second Steelback run out, this time by Croft, before Lucas and Lee Daggett (13 not out) shared an unbroken stand of 41 for the tenth wicket in eight overs.
Lancashire lost Smith to a fine catch at mid-on by Boje off the bowling of Lucas in the third over of their reply. Prince and Paul Horton shared their second wicket stand before the latter was caught at slip by Hall off Panesar. Chilton was bowled by Hall for 29 to leave Lancs at 144-3.
Prince, who creamed seven fours, hit former international colleague Hall for a straight six, but holed out to Willey at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Daggett with victory in sight. And du Plessis finished with 40 not out as the win was secured with 15 balls to spare.
Prince added: “I think in one-day cricket I am putting a bit more pressure on myself. I haven’t played a lot of one-day cricket recently, and I was maybe trying too hard. The last two innings have been good though, and I am feeling better about my game.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t get a good start, but the pitch was playing well. Paul Horton was hitting the ball nicely again. He and I put a partnership together. We always knew that putting one big partnership together would see us home.
“We go down to Derby looking for another positive result. We respect them, but we are always confident in our ability to take on any team.”
Hear what Ashwell Prince had to say to BBC Radio Lancashire following the match.
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd
*Editor's note-LancsTV. Apologies for the non appearance of the highlights of Sunday's match at Essex. This is in no way due to the fact we lost! There were various technical problems at Chelmsford out of our control, with the first 20 overs not filmed and very poor picture quality of the rest of the game.