Stephen Moore believes a thrilling tie between Lancashire and Derbyshire was a fair result as the Friends Life t20 got off to an incredible start.
Moore’s 72 off 55 balls had given the Lightning hope of chasing down a daunting 191 after the hosts had posted 190-5 from their 20 overs.
Wes Durston had top-scored for the Falcons with 86 off 58 balls and Chesney Hughes hit 65 off 32 balls, the pair sharing a crucial 103 partnership inside eleven overs for the second wicket as Derbyshire posted their highest total at this venue.
Both players cleared the rope with regularity, but 20 year-old Hughes’ innings was the more powerful. He hit four sixes after being dropped on 15 by Red Rose debutant Jordan Clark, the 20 year-old scholarship batsman.
But the impressive Clark later had something to shout about as he hit two huge sixes off Tim Groenewald and Steffan Jones to reduce a target of 32 off the last three overs to seven runs off the last over.
Groenewald bowled a superb last over, including the wickets of Paul Horton and Clark with the penultimate ball of the match.
At that stage, Lancashire needed three runs off the last ball. Captain Glen Chapple arrived to face his only delivery and hit two to long-off to secure a point.
And Moore said: “That was different to the last three weeks. It was a lovely wicket to bat on and the outfield was fast. The pitch was certainly as good as the scores suggest.
“I think that was a fair result. Both sides will be reasonably happy. If you look at the match in its context, the chances, the way both sides played, there wasn’t too much that separated us.”
Moore had to battle a left ankle injury after inside edging a ball from Jones onto his ankle in the fourth over of the reply.
But he hit seven fours and two sixes to bring up a 29-ball half-century, which was his fourth in 18 matches in a Lightning shirt in this format.
He was later dropped by former Red Rose wicketkeeper Luke Sutton on 52, a high and swirling effort off the bowling of Mark Footitt.
But, although he added another 20 runs, he only hit one more boundary before departing midway through the 16th over when he found New Zealander Martin Guptill at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Jones.
At that stage, Lancashire needed 56 off 27 balls to win.
Steven Croft had earlier hit three sixes in a 12-ball innings of 26, backing up an opening stand of 95 between Moore and Tom Smith (33) inside ten overs.
After Moore’s departure, Gareth Cross fell, caught in the deep off the spin bowling of Hughes, and that left Lancashire behind the rate.
But, with the help of some hustling and bustling from Horton, Clark got them back on track with 19 off eleven balls.
It was just unfortunate for him and for Lancs that he fell right at the death when the game looked to be won.
Earlier, Chapple, Smith, Stephen Parry, Kyle Hogg and Croft were all expensive with the ball, with left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan’s 1-23 from four overs being by far and away the pick of the figures.
Chapple and Smith both took two wickets with successive fours late in the Derbyshire innings after Sutton’s side had been invited to bat first.
Lancashire head back to Old Trafford tomorrow for their second North Division match, with Worcestershire the visitors (5.30pm start).
John Walton/EMPICS Sport
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