Lancashire slipped to an opening day Yorkshire Bank 40 defeat at the hands of Durham Dynamos at Emirates Old Trafford today.
The Lightning failed to build on a fast start with the bat, and they were not able to defend their below par total of 216-9.
The visitors won their first ever List A match at this venue by five wickets with 31 balls to spare thanks Phil Mustard’s 91 off 86 balls. Earlier, pace bowler Chris Rushworth claimed 3-44 from his eight overs, with all his wickets coming in the latter stages of the Lightning innings.
Lancashire will be kicking themselves having started well, despite being inserted by Dale Benkenstein.
Top-scorer Stephen Moore with 46 and Ashwell Prince added 73 inside eleven overs for the first wicket, but the hosts’ innings stuttered from then on as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
They lost three for 23 to slip from 115-2 to 138-5 through the middle and four for 35 at the end to stifle the pursuit of quick runs on a fast and true surface.
Durham then raced out of the blocks themselves. Mustard and Mark Stoneman (32) scored at 10 runs per over for the first eight overs of powerplay, including a spell of 26 runs off seven balls through the fourth and start of the fifth.
And the difference between the two sides was that they were able to build on their start.
“We didn’t play well enough,” said coach Peter Moores. “We had opportunities. We got off to a really good start and had the opportunity to post a very competitive score, which would have been difficult to chase. But we didn’t do that.
“No batsman went past 50, and there was no partnership after the first one, which had an impact on the game.
“We had two men in. It was a great opportunity to allow us to push towards the end of the innings, but we didn’t take that opportunity. The batsmen have got to take responsibility for that, but I also don’t think our bowlers did well either. 216 may have been a tough target to defend, but we didn’t bowl or field as well as we can. We have got areas all round to tighten up before next week.”
Moore and Prince hit nine fours between them, including a pulled six for Moore off Mark Wood’s seamers to help the Lightning pass 50 in the early stages of the eighth over.
But Prince (34) and Moore both fell inside four overs to Gareth Breese and Ben Stokes to leave the score at 83-2. Prince was stumped and Moore bowled.
Steven Croft was caught at slip off Scott Borthwick’s leg-spin before Karl Brown was stumped by Mustard off Ryan Pringle’s off-spin for 32. And when stand-in captain Simon Katich was caught behind off Wood, the hosts were 128-5 in the 26th over.
Jordan Clark and Wayne White, both of whom have enjoyed success with the willow for the seconds recently, threatened a revival with a stand of 42 as they moved the score on to 180-5 in the 34th.
But Clark holed out to long-on off Rushworth before Gareth Cross was run out following a mix-up with White, who mistimed an attempted pull straight back to bowler Rushworth. The bowler’s third wicket was that of Oliver Newby caught behind.
Left-handed Stoneman then put Lancashire under the cosh in the field by hitting five boundaries off White’s second over with the new ball, and Mustard followed it with a pulled six off Newby at the start of the fifth over.
Newby bowled Stoneman with the last ball of the seventh over and Stephen Parry struck at the start of his spell to get Pringle caught behind.
Mustard then shared 90 inside 17 for the third wicket with Paul Collingwood (38) before the latter was caught behind off Newby.
Mustard, dropped on 43 by Simon Kerrigan diving at point off Croft, fell to the same combination, but in reverse. He was caught Croft at mid-wicket, bowled Kerrigan. And the fifth Durham wicket also involved those two. Stokes was caught by Kerrigan at mid-off off Croft.
Moores, whose side’s next 40-over outing is against Derbyshire Falcons at Derby next Sunday, added: “Credit to Durham, they are not an easy team to play, especially if the two left-handers up front start well like they did. But no excuses, we didn’t play well enough.”
Photo: Stephen Moore in fine form with Lancs' top score (c) Simon Pendrigh