Peter Moores is hopeful that one more win will be enough for the Lightning to secure their spot in the quarter finals of the Friends Provident t20
Lancashire would have almost certainly sealed their place in the last eight had they beaten Derbyshire at Old Trafford today, but they lost out to the Falcons for the second time in a week.
The visitors won by seven runs after posting a commanding 163-6. Lancashire finished on 156-6, despite being well placed in the chase when Tom Smith and Steven Croft were together in a second wicket partnership of 61.
Lancs currently sit third in the North Division with matches against Notts Outlaws, Northants Steelbacks and Worcestershire Royals still to come next week.
Moores said: “We know that we’ve got three games left, and we’ll have to win at least one of them. We are fighting very hard to get a home quarter final, but the first job is to get into the quarter finals.
“I think one win will get us a quarter final place with the way the other results will go, but I think to get a home draw you will probably have to win all three.”
No batsman reached 40 in the match, with Wes Durston top scoring for the visitors with 39 off 31 balls.
An opening partnership of 64 between Durston and Loots Bosman had got the Falcons up and running after Greg Smith elected to bat, but they only motored after the first three overs, which went for nine runs.
New Zealand off-spinner Nathan McCullum’s first two overs only went for four runs with the new ball.
Durston then hit three boundaries off Smith in the fourth over, before Bosman hit successive fours off Sajid Mahmood in the next.
Derbyshire reached 50 after seven overs, but Bosman found Stephen Moore at deep mid wicket off McCullum midway through the ninth for 29.
And Durston followed to Simon Kerrigan, bowled in the eleventh, to leave the score at 74-2.
Kerrigan finished with 2-18, while McCullum returned 1-17 - although it should have been two because Mahmood dropped a simple chance to let Jon Clare off the hook.
Derbyshire were four down in the next when Wayne Madsen found Glen Chapple at short fine leg for 29 to give Stephen Parry his first wicket, but Peterson came in and hit his first ball over long on for six, the first of the innings in the 18th over.
He and Clare (18 off 15) shared 36 off 16 balls for the fifth wicket, but both men fell off the last two balls of the innings to Smith.
Moores said: “Their innings was a funny innings because we started so well. I thought Nathan McCullum and Kerrigan bowled beautifully. We put them under pressure – they were nine after three overs – and then they got away.
“We pride ourselves on the quality of our fielding, and I don’t think we fielded quite as well today. Once they got 163, I think it was a tough ask. We chased it down the other night, but it’s difficult to keep chasing scores like that at Old Trafford.”
Three wickets for opening bowler Tim Groenewald were key for the Falcons as he effectively changed the match within the space of three balls.
He had earlier bowled Stephen Moore for 21 off 12, but Smith and Croft kept the momentum going.
And, even though the pair had a mix up which eventually caused Smith depart run out for 38 off 28 balls, Lancs were still in control at 93-2 in the eleventh. But then it all fell apart in double quick time.
Croft was caught by Steffan Jones at deep cover for 38 off 34 balls in the 15th over before Horton was bowled two balls later to leave the score at 119-4.
Gareth Cross was later trapped lbw by Jones before Charl Langeveldt helped to defend 13 off the last over. Lancashire's chance went from the moment he bowled McCullum for 18 with the first ball.
Moores added: “I give credit to Derbyshire because they played pretty well. But we were a bit below par as well, and we have to take some responsibility.”
Graham Hardcastle at Old Trafford
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd