Lancashire pulled off a second nail-biting final-over win in two games with victory over Notts Outlaws at Old Trafford
Sajid Mahmood, returning from a thigh injury, bowled a crucial wicket-maiden and took 4-24 as Lightning fought-back for a four-run Duckworth/Lewis win in a dramatic rain-affected Group C match.
Spinner Stephen Parry then held his nerve by taking the final two Outlaws wickets in the last over with the visitors needing just eight to win.
It followed Saturday’s stunning LV= County Championship victory over Yorkshire, which they won with four balls to spare.
“It has been exciting cricket, that’s what everyone wants,” said Mahmood. “Although we would love to do it the easy way!”
The win was Steven Croft’s first as captain and he played a key role by making 41 off 40 balls as Lancashire posted 145-8 in their 27 overs.
“It has been a massive weekend,” said the all-rounder. “We could have turned up today drained by the win over Yorkshire, but we knew we had to front up and start winning in this competition. It was back to the old ways of how we play one-day cricket.”
Things initially looked like they would be easier for Lightning as they had the Outlaws reeling at 24-4 in the fifth over as they chased a revised target of 147 in 27 overs.
Mahmood struck with his third ball as he bowled Rikki Wessels for a duck. Kyle Hogg claimed the wicket of Akhil Patel, who was caught at point by Croft without scoring. And Adam Voges became the third Outlaw to go for a duck when he edged Mahmood to wicketkeeper Gareth Cross. Hogg then bowled Ben Phillips.
Alistair Brown kept Notts in the game with 22 off 23 balls before he was bowled by Simon Kerrigan, Read and former Lancashire player Steven Mullaney looked to have put their side in control, putting on 48 for the sixth wicket.
And even when Mullaney was caught by Luke Procter off Faveez Maharoof’s bowling for 22, the Outlaws needed just 46 to win from eight overs and then later just 20 from four.
But Mahmood changed the game. He returned to bowl a wicket-maiden, with Sam Wood lofting him to Croft for eight. And in his next over he bowled Read for 59.
Parry then had Paul Franks caught by Paul Horton in the final over and wrapped up Lightning’s second win in five games by bowling Andre Adams off the penultimate ball.
“It was a massive over from Saj, it went a long way to winning the game for us,” said Croft. “There were quite a few wanting that last over, including me, but we had great faith in Parry, he is tried and tested doing that.
“He finished it off superbly for us and held his nerve really well.”
Earlier, Croft’s knock was the backbone of the Lightning innings.
After rain reduced the game to 30 overs, Stephen Moore was first to go, caught by Wessels off Darren Pattinson for four.
Franks then bowled Karl Brown for six before a heavy downpour reduced the game to 27 overs.
Croft and Horton upped the rate after the break, putting on 50 in 52 balls. Wood, however, bowled Horton for 37 then trapped Maharoof lbw next ball.
Adams returned to the attack to trap Croft lbw in the 20th over and two more wickets in successive balls saw Lancashire reduced to 125-7 as first Mahmood was run out after a direct hit from Mullaney, and then Cross was caught at backward point by Pattinson off Adams for 21. Luke Procter was run out in the penultimate over for five.
“This is what we are more about and we need to put in more performances like that,” said Croft.
“I wanted to get a good win under my belt and I hope it is the first of many for me as captain.”
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
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