Stephen Parry hit a last over six to steer Lancashire through to Finals Day in the Barbados Twenty20 Cup in an exciting Kensington Oval encounter on Saturday.
Lancashire face Essex in the first semi-final on Sunday at 1.30pm, with live commentary available online.
Tom Smith’s 48 anchored Lancashire’s pursuit of 131against the Barbados Select XI. The 24 year-old left-handed opener, who had earlier claimed 1-27 from four overs, made sure the Lightning recovered from 43-4 in the eighth over to complete a nervy three-wicket win with only two balls to spare.
On the back of 94 in the two-day friendly against Essex at the Weymouth ground earlier in the week, Smith then walloped three lusty sixes in successive overs to keep the Red Rose ahead of the chase.
He fell just two runs short of his 50 off 45 balls after sharing a fifth wicket partnership of 58 in six overs with Gareth Cross, but had done just enough to secure Lancashire a semi-final berth.
The home side put the squeeze on, and forced the Lightning to score 17 off the last two overs. But skipper Glen Chapple and Stephen Parry scrambled home with some big hitting.
Kyle Hogg (2-17 from three) and Sajid Mahmood (2-27 from three) both claimed two wickets apiece, while left-arm spinner Parry was the pick of the bowling with 1-15 from four overs as he helped put the breaks on the Bajan innings after they had won the toss and elected to bat.
The hosts had got off to a flying start thanks to an opening partnership of 58 in just short of nine overs between Martin Nurse and Jason Haynes. Right-handed Nurse walloped three fours and two sixes off Mahmood and Chapple before being caught behind by Cross off the bowling of Parry.
Nurse top scored with 37 off 27 balls, while opening partner Haynes went for 22 in the eleventh, caught behind off Smith to leave the score at 71-2.
They were the first two of four wickets to fall between the fourth ball of the eighth over and the third of the eleventh, with Kyle Hope superbly caught on the run by Mark Chilton at mid-on off the bowling of Hogg and Antonio Mayers caught by Stephen Moore at mid-wicket off the same bowler. Barbados were suddenly on the rocks at 73-4.
Jonathan Carter went three overs later, run out from backward square leg by Moore, who was in the action in the field to leave the score at 86-5 in the 15th.
Carlo Morris and Ryan Hinds then shared a sixth wicket partnership of 38 in five overs, with wicketkeeper Morris creaming huge sixes off Hogg, Smith and Mahmood.
The latter of the three maximums came off the first ball of the last over – the second went for four – but Mahmood got his revenge when Chilton pouched an effort to end the burly right-hander’s 25-ball innings of 32.
Hinds (13) followed the very next ball, caught by Moore at cover, before Ashley Nurse muscled another six over long-on. The innings closed on 130-8 when Jason Holder was run out by Cross.
The Lightning’s reply got off the worst possible start when Paul Horton chopped on a sharp Miguel Cummins delivery to leave the visitors at 1-1 in the second over. It provided the pace bowler with a wicket on his debut for the island team.
But he was brought back down to earth by Moore, who cracked him for 12 in his first three deliveries – a four over cover, a two to backward square leg and a massive six over long-on off a free hit.
Moore was on the charge, but then provided Cummins with his second wicket when he loosely edged behind to Morris for 13 to leave the score at 23-2 in the fourth.
Steven Croft uppercut a four off Cummins in the sixth over, but was caught behind attempting a similar shot off Larry Babb in the next. And Lancashire were soon 43-4 when Chilton was caught at third man by Babb, again attempting an uppercut, off the medium pace of Mayers in the next over.
But the Bajan spirit, backed by a small band of vocal locals, was broken by Smith’s effort.
It was nearly rekindled in the 14th over when Lancs lost both Smith, caught behind by Morris off the left-arm spin of captain Hinds, and Cross (15) run out attempting two to long-on to leave the score at 102-6.
Hogg walloped a maximum over long-off off the bowling of Ashley Nurse before being brilliantly run out backing up by the off-spinner. Parry was forced to help Chapple take seven off the last over. The left-arm spinner clobbered a six over long-on off Hinds to seal the deal with two balls to spare.
Photos: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd
Barbados – Ryan Hinds (captain), Jason Haynes, Martin Nurse, Kyle Hope, Jonathan Carter, Antonio Mayers, Carlo Morris, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Larry Babb, Miguel Cummins.
Lancashire – Glen Chapple (captain), Paul Horton, Tom Smith, Stephen Moore, Steven Croft, Mark Chilton, Gareth Cross, Kyle Hogg, Stephen Parry, Sajid Mahmood, Gary Keedy.