A majestic 64 not out from Luke Procter sealed an impressive Clydesdale Bank 40 win for Lancashire's young guns against Worcestershire Royals.
Peter Moores provided the club’s supporters with a glimpse of the future at the Aigburth ground, fielding four first team regulars. And the Lightning did not disappoint.
The likes of Procter, Karl Brown and scholarship player Jordan Clark - on debut - all contributed, as did Gareth Cross, in chasing down 259 with only five balls and four wickets to spare.
“I’m over the moon,” said left handed Procter, 22. “It was getting quite tight towards the end, but we pulled it off.”
With 19 needed off the last two overs, the game was firmly in the balance. But Procter cracked left arm swing bowler Jack Shantry for a huge six over long on in the 39th over to effectively kill the contest.
“They knew they’d lost it as soon as that six went over,” added Procter, who saw Stephen Parry hit the winning runs off Gareth Andrew.
Alexei Kervezee, a Dutch international born in South Africa, recorded his maiden century for the visitors in one-day cricket.
And his 101-ball 111, including eleven boundaries, was the standout innings in their useful total of 258-6 after captain Daryl Mitchell won the toss and elected to bat first.
Left arm spinner Gary Keedy claimed season’s best haul of 4-41 from his eight overs to keep a leash on the scoring rate. Having been 172-3 after 30 overs, and with Kervezee in, the men from New Road would surely have been eyeing a score north of 270.
Kervezee, the 20 year-old right hander, was at his most content when making room to hit through the off side. He was also prolific picking up ones down to long on.
Nobody else managed to better Mitchell’s 40 off 54 balls – he did not score a boundary - although Vikram Solanki and James Cameron made valuable contributions of 24 and 29 not out respectively. Kervezee and Mitchell shared 96 for the fourth wicket inside 29 overs.
Keedy had Solanki stumped, Shakib Al Hasan caught at mid off, Mitchell bowled and Kervezee caught at long off.
Steven Cheetham, recalled from his loan spell at Surrey to play against these opponents for the second time in four days, and off spinner Croft were the other wicket takers for the Lightning.
Imran Arif had Paul Horton caught by Solanki at second slip in the second over of the Lightning chase, but Croft and Brown (41) shared 89 in eleven overs for the second wicket.
Croft reached his 50 off 26 balls with ten fours, and later pulled the medium pace of Cameron for six. But he was one of three quick wickets to fall to take the score from 101-1 in the 13th over to 120-4 in the 18th. He holed out to Jack Shantry of the left arm spin of Bangladeshi Shakib for 60 off 35 balls, who also trapped Mark Chilton lbw.
Brown then reverse swept Moeen Ali’s off spin to Shantry at short third man.
Cross (28) and Procter then steadied Lancashire with a 49-run partnership in eight overs for the fifth wicket before the former pulled Moeen straight to Shakib at deep backward square leg.
Procter and Clark (32) then united before for their sixth wicket stand of 62 inside eleven overs before the right handed 19 year-old pulled Shantry to Kervezee at deep backward square leg.
And, with the score at 231-6 in the 37th, the game was in the balance again with 29 runs needed. Procter and Parry did the rest.
“It was quite tight in the end, but we pulled it off,” continued Procter, who faced 59 balls and hit six fours and a six. “At Colwyn Bay last week Hoggy hit a six off the second to last ball to effectively win it, yesterday we won the Championship game with a ball left and today was off the last over again.”
Compared to the Championship win here over Hampshire yesterday, when Chilton hit a four off the penultimate ball, this proved to be an absolute breeze!
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd