Stephen Moore hailed a world-class performance from the Lightning as they blew away Leics Foxes in the Friends Life t20 clash at Old Trafford
The Red Rose won by eight wickets with an over to spare in their pursuit of 180, and a couple of records fell as Lancashire secured their second win from their first three North Division matches.
Glen Chapple’s metronomic figures of 2-10 were the most economical by a Lancashire bowler who has bowled the full quota of four overs in the history of Twenty20, while this was the county’s highest successful run chase at Old Trafford.
Added to Chapple’s spell, Moore also starred in a strong batting performance from the county’s in-form top four. The right-hander finished with 54 off 32 balls to secure his sixth score of 50 or more in eight one-day matches this summer, including Twenty20 and 40-over cricket.
Moore was well backed up by Tom Smith’s 42, Steven Croft’s unbeaten 41 and Karl Brown’s 39 not out, the latter hitting the winning runs.
“It was a fantastic win,” said Moore, who hit seven fours and two sixes. “Twenty20 cricket is rewriting what you can and can’t do in terms of runs scored, but 180 is a daunting target. It is a tough chase, but the way the boys played didn’t make it look as tough as it was.
“It was a world-class effort from the guys. Crofty and Brown played magnificently in tough conditions. You need a bit of luck. But if you are going to make it easy, you have to get off to a flyer.”
This was a topsy-turvy encounter, in which Leicester came back from the dead thanks to some power-hitting in the second half of their innings after Matthew Hoggard had won the toss and elected to bat first.
Chapple had Greg Smith caught on the third-man fence by Gary Keedy and trapped Ramnaresh Sarwan lbw, while Yasir Arafat (2-38) also struck as the Foxes were reduced to 29-3 in the sixth over. At that stage, it looked a long way back for the defending champions.
But Matt Boyce hit 63 not out off 38 balls, Abdul Razzaq 61 off 51 and Wayne White chipped in with an unbeaten 19 off nine. Boyce and opener Razzaq shared 92 in 11.2 overs for the fourth wicket before Boyce and White added an unbroken 58 off just 21 balls for the fifth to post 179-4.
Leicestershire scored an incredible 81 runs off the last five overs. Seven of the last ten overs went for double figures and 15 out of the 17 times Leicester found or cleared the ropes came between the start of the eleventh and the end of the 20th over. Gary Keedy finished with 0-53 from four overs and Luke Procter 0-28 from two.
But Lancashire’s top order rarely looked troubled as they pursued the double over the Foxes after Friday’s win at Grace Road. Moore and Smith, who also hit two fours and three sixes, shared 75 in 7.4 overs for the first wicket, Smith hitting Hoggard for successive sixes over mid-wicket in the fifth over.
The game was well balanced with Lancashire 113-2 in the 13th over, Moore having been bowled as he tried to sweep Claude Henderson, the experienced left-arm spinner, and Smith holing out to Preston Mommsen at deep mid-wicket off Rob Taylor.
But Croft and Brown, who took 27 runs off the 15th and 16th overs combined to break the back of the chase, ensured the target was reached with a great degree of comfort. Leicestershire have now lost their opening four matches.
Chapple said: “I think we've played decent cricket three times now, although the first one didn't go our way. It's good to get two wins. Leicester have had a tough start, but they're a good side.
They ended up posting a good score, which took a bit of an effort. But we played really well tonight. We ended up knocking them off fairly comfortably in the end. We played sensible cricket. They ran well between the wickets and reached the boundary 20-odd times, which is a great effort.
“Moorey was superb, but I think our top order are firing really well. There were great strike-rates from Crofty and Browny towards the end, they played exceptionally well. Tom Smith as well, it was faultless really.”
Lancashire’s next match is against Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Old Trafford on Friday night (7pm).
Photo of Stephen Moore (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd