Lancashire are still sniffing a semi-final place in the Yorkshire Bank 40 for the second year running after demolishing Scottish Saltires by seven wickets on Duckworth-Lewis in Glasgow today.
Glen Chapple’s side have now won five Group B matches on the spin with two remaining, including a home match against leaders Hampshire Royals at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. They still need to win their last two matches to have any chance of progression.
The Lightning comfortably avoided any potential banana skin in a rain-affected clash reduced initially to 36 overs per side.
After the hosts were bowled out for 145, the Lightning were set a revised target of 147 on DL before more rain altered that further to 125 from 28.
Kabir Ali led the way with 3-33 from 6.4 overs as the Saltires were bowled out for considerably less than they would have wanted. It was an innings which also included two wickets apiece for captain Chapple and Tom Smith after the visitors had won the toss. Richie Berrington top-scored with 35.
Ashwell Prince and Smith then shared 58 for the second wicket in 9.3 overs to anchor the chase, which was completed with 28 balls to spare.
Prince was the most fluent batsman on show with 36 off 31 balls, but Smith top-scored with an unbeaten 42 off 63, hitting only one four.
“It was a tough wicket, but we managed to get the win,” said Smith. “That was what we came here to do. Two wins and we’re right in it. That’s all we’re thinking about now.
“It was nice for me to see it through and to be there at the end because I’ve had a lot of starts, but Ashwell is having a great year in this competition, and he played with great intent. He gave us a boost just when we needed it.”
Ali is now Lancashire’s leading wicket-taker in this competition with 14 from six matches, while Kyle Hogg was superb for 1-16 from seven overs.
Only three Scottish batsmen topped 20, while their best partnership was 36 in four overs between captain Preston Mommsen (31 not out) and Calvin Burnett for the last wicket.
Stephen Moore fell in the sixth over of the Lightning chase as he drove Burnett to short cover, but Smith and Prince shared their half-century stand inside 10 overs to put their side in the box seat.
Prince is on the verge of 500 runs in this competition. After hitting four fours and a six, he fell with the score on 83 when he chipped off-spinner Majid Haq to backward point, but Scotland were left with too much to do even with the late dismissal of Simon Katich.
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh