Mitchell McClenaghan's five-wicket haul on his home debut was not enough for Lancashire as they lost by four wickets against Notts Outlaws in Monday's Friends Life t20 clash.
The Outlaws ended a six-match losing streak at Emirates Old Trafford as they chased down 156 with 14 balls to spare thanks in the main to captain David Hussey’s blistering 52 off just 28 balls.
He shared an imperative 78 in just 7.3 overs for the fourth wicket with Alex Hales after the visitors had fallen to 50-3 in the seventh over after the Lightning, who face Derbyshire Falcons at the County Ground tomorrow, had posted 155-6.
Steven Croft hit 52 off 44 balls and Simon Katich 48 off 38 after the Lightning, who lost the toss, had slipped to 22-2 inside four overs.
They shared 93 in 11.2 overs for the third wicket to put them in a decent position at 115-2 after 15 overs. But the loss of four wickets inside the last five overs hamstrung them.
McClenaghan took Lancashire’s first ever five-wicket haul in this format, winning the Man of the Match award in the process, and his 5-29 from four overs represented his career best figures.
“I would trade the five wickets, take none-for and get us a win on the board. That would have been a better result for me,” said McClenaghan.
“We knew we had to have quick start and take wickets in the first six overs and keep the runs down. Unfortunately they got off to a bit of a flyer. They have a really good batting line-up. We could have maybe put more pressure on them, but that was a defendable total if we bowled well.”
To be fair to Notts, they fielded superbly. They took five catches in the deep, the best of which came from McClenaghan’s fellow New Zealander Ian Butler as he completed a superb diving effort at mid-off to get rid of Tom Smith towards the end of the penultimate over off Harry Gurney, who returned an excellent 1-18 from four overs.
Hussey also added the crucial wicket of Croft to his later efforts with the bat, which included hitting Kabir Ali for three successive fours in the 10th over.
Lancashire recovered from the early losses of Stephen Moore and Ashwell Prince as they slipped to 22-2 in the fourth over after losing the toss. Moore was run out following a mix-up after just six balls and Prince caught in the deep off Ajmal Shahzad in the fourth over.
And they would have been confident of winning their second match after McClenaghan struck with his first ball, getting Michael Lumb caught at slip with his first ball at Emirates Old Trafford. He also had Rikki Wessels caught behind off the top edge.
But Hussey intervened with devastating effect to underline his status as one of the best Twenty20 batsmen in the world. He is one of only three batsmen to have passed 5,000 runs in this format around the world. Hales’s 49 off 37 balls should also not be forgotten.
McClenaghan then had Hussey caught at mid-off, Hales caught at deep mid-wicket and Chris Read caught off a top-edge. Unfortunately, it just was not quite enough.
Former Red Rose player Steven Mullaney hit three successive fours off Ali to finish off the match.
“It was just one of those nights where we were off,” added McClenaghan. “It just takes one or two individual performances to win a Twenty20 game, and they came from the other side tonight. Full credit to Dave, he really took it away from us. It was just one of those things.
“We now need to move on from that. You can’t always be perfect, and no one goes through a campaign without dropping a game. Hopefully we have got ours out of the way early.
“The things we did wrong are going to be fresh in our minds against Derbyshire. We need to show a lot of character.”
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh