Lancashire Lightning have lost their first match of the pre-season tour of Barbados, going down by 84 runs to Essex Eagles in the 40-over final at the 3Ws Oval yesterday.
The Red Rose, who were invited to field by Essex skipper James Foster, were on the end of a fine 99-ball innings of 118 from opener Billy Godleman. John Maunders and Tom Westley both added 62.
Luke Procter and Adrian Shankar shared a fifth wicket partnership of 85 in 16 overs in the chase, but they couldn’t haul back a start that had seen Lancashire reduced to 43-4 within the first ten and 74-5 in the 15th.
On a good batting track at the Cave Hill venue, Procter added a run-a-ball 67, including two fours and three sixes, while Shankar finished with 54 off balls, including two boundaries.
The Old Trafford side were bowled out for 203 inside the 36th over, but only nine wickets had fallen because stand-in captain Mark Chilton had left the field during his side’s bowling effort with a bad back and could not bat.
Chilton commented: “From what I can gather, there were some good, encouraging performances. Certainly Shanks and Proccy played very well, but I was flat on my back for most of it. I came off quite early on in the field because I stirred my back up.”
David Masters finished with the pick of the Essex figures with 3-23 from eight overs, claiming the wickets of Stephen Moore, Shankar and Stephen Parry.
After Moore had completed a fine slip catch to help snaffle the wicket of Jaik Mickleburgh early in the Essex effort, Godleman and Maunders set about taking the game away from Lancashire with some power hitting.
Ex-Middlesex man Godleman targeted mid-wicket and long-on on numerous occasions as he racked up seven fours and five sixes. Essex had only reached 36-1 after ten overs, but had a more than productive following 30 as they totalled 287-5.
Stephen Cheetham finished with 2-50 from eight, while Tom Smith claimed a wicket despite going for 63 runs. There were also two run outs.
Pace bowler Mervyn Westfield took two of the opening four wickets to keep the Eagles on top, removing Karl Brown thanks to a fine Maunders slip catch and trapping Lancashire’s third captain of the trip Sutton lbw within the space of two balls.
Westfield later finished with 2-21 from 5.2 overs, but not before 2009 second team skipper Shankar and first year pro Procter had given Lancashire cause for optimism with an eye-catching alliance.
While Shankar was happy to accumulate, finding the fence only twice, Procter was more aggressive. The highlight of his innings was a straight six off the left-arm spin of Tim Phillips, who also finished with two wickets.
Chilton added: “We have played some really good cricket. I’m sure everyone who’s watched will say that. But perhaps there was a little bit of a lull today because we’ve had four successive days of cricket.”
Meanwhile, Glen Chapple will miss Lancashire’s two-day friendly against Yorkshire on Friday after chipping a bone in the third finger on his right hand during Saturday’s Twenty20 match against Barbados.
Chapple, who has not played since, will continue to bowl in the nets although he will not bat and field.
Graham Hardcastle reporting from Barbados
Photos: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd