Batting ace Stephen Moore hailed an all-round team effort as the Lightning got their Friends Provident Twenty20 campaign off to a stunning start against Durham Dynamos at the Riverside on Friday.
See the highlights by clicking on the image above.
Moore’s brilliant unbeaten 83 off 52 balls ensured he took home the man of the match award as the hosts failed to threaten the visiting side's 179-4 in this North Division opener.
Tom Smith also added 44 off 32 balls, but was the victim of a run out mix up with the man of the moment.
Versatile Steven Croft, bowling his off-spinners, then went a long way to ensuring the hosts could only muster 156-8 in their reply thanks to figures of 3-18 from his three overs. Sajid Mahmood also claimed two wickets in the 23-run win.
Moore, whose effort was a career best, said: “That was a good wicket. 180 was a good score, but nothing extraordinary. The way the guys bowled was brilliant. The discipline and energy shown meant it was a great team performance.
“It was a fantastic win because they’re a strong side. To get the competition off to a winning start is great. We really wanted to start strong and get some momentum to take into the next five or six weeks.”
Smith, who had shared 33 for the first wicket with Paul Horton, also added a third wicket stand of 33 with Moore. The former hit six boundaries in his confident knock at the top of the order.
But the left-hander, who returned to form with a Roses Championship hundred in the week, was run out courtesy of a mix up with Moore in the tenth over. The left-hander was left stranded in mid pitch as he looked for a second run into the deep on the off-side.
“Tom played beautifully at the top of the order,” continued 29 year-old Moore, who had seen Horton, Simon Katich (seven) and Croft all fall cheaply. “He gave us some great momentum, and allowed me to play with a little bit of freedom through the back end of the innings.”
Moore hit seven fours and three sixes, and the key passage of the match was when he and Mark Chilton, who finished with useful unbeaten 18, shared an unbroken 74 for the fifth wicket in 7.1 overs.
They scored 60 runs from the last five overs, although Moore top edged a ball into his helmet as he tried to scoop Steve Harmison over fine leg in the final over of the innings.
Chapple then had Ian Blackwell caught behind by Gareth Cross and Mahmood had New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor caught on the square leg boundary by Croft to leave the score at 20-2 in the fourth over of their reply.
Phil Mustard hit 47 off 32 balls, and shared a third wicket stand of 57 in seven overs with Ben Stokes, but his side’s chances were fading rapidly when he was stumped by Cross off Croft in the eleventh over.
And their game was up when Croft had Stokes caught at long off by Moore in his next to leave Durham on 82-4 in the 13th.
Chapple employed four spinners, including the left-arm chinaman of Katich, and he opened the bowling with the left-arm spin of Simon Kerrigan. Stephen Parry, Croft, who bowled Breese, and Mahmood (2-32 from four) all added further wickets.
Big hitting Albie Morkel was the last man out, run out by a combination of Kerrigan, Cross and Mahmood for 26 in the last over of the match.
Lancashire’s next fixture is at home to Northamptonshire Steelbacks next Wednesday evening (5.30pm) at Old Trafford.
Graham Hardcastle at the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground
Photo: (c) Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images