Three starring roles with bat and ball from Steven Mullaney, Steven Cheetham and Oliver Newby handed Lancashire Lightning a crushing 214-run win over the Fly Emirates XI in the Pro ARCH Trophy at Sharjah on Monday.
Mullaney’s maiden one-day century for Lancashire, 103 off 121 balls, helped the Red Rose county post an imposing 262-5 from 50 overs.
Cheetham and Newby then steamed into claim four and five wickets respectively to reduce the host airline to 13-8. Cheetham, the 21 year-old pace bowler who is about to embark on his first season on the professional staff, finished with figures of 5-12 from ten impressive overs as the hosts where bowled out for just 48 in just 22 overs. The Lightning now face a third placed play-off game against Roses rivals Yorkshire at Sharjah on Wednesday (1pm local, 9am GMT)
“I didn’t feel that I bowled too crash hot the other night, so it was nice to make amends. I wasn’t too bothered about pace, I was just trying to hit my good lines and lengths because there wasn’t too much pace in the track,” said Cheetham, who scooped a free return flight to Dubai for the man of the match award. “Yeah it’s great. I am not too sure when I will be back though, it’s pretty expensive over here. But it’s an honour to have it because it was an unbelievable knock from Mull.”
Newby finished with 4-29 from ten overs, while Simon Kerrigan took the last wicket to fall.
Just like Paul Horton’s century against Sussex on Thursday, Mullaney’s ton will not go down in the official record books, but after Glen Chapple won the toss and elected to bat the all-rounder played superbly opening the batting. The injury absence of Mal Loye means that head coach Peter Moores has the opportunity to experiment at the top of the order, with Kyle Hogg doing it in the first two games and Mullaney today.
“I didn’t really envisage opening on the tour, but I mentioned to Moorsey in a one on one meeting with him that I had done it a few times in Australia. When Chappie read out the team yesterday and said that I was opening, I was absolutely delighted. I took my chance in a way, hopefully it will lead to more things.”
Mullaney and his best mate, Karl Brown, shared an opening stand of 32 before the more recognisable opener holed out to mid-off off the bowling of Amjed Javed for 15. Mullaney then shared a second wicket partnership of 139 with Paul Horton, who hit 66 off 90 balls with two fours and one six included.
Horton was finally trapped by left-arm spinner Nigel Fernandes, before Mark Chilton came in and hit an impressive and inventive 36 off just 30 balls. But unfortunately the four-day opener had to retire hurt with a back complaint.
Mullaney, who hit seven fours and four sixes in total, was the third to go with the score at 220-3 when he was stumped off the bowling of left-arm spinner Khurrum Khan. Debutant Adrian Shankar was then bowled by Khan for a second ball duck just moments later. Gareth Cross hit a late 26 off just 20 balls to boost the score, while Khan was the pick of the home bowlers with 3-38 from ten overs.
Lancashire then came out in the field with a real buzz and purpose, stifling the Emirati batsman with a barrage of pace from Newby and Cheetham. The pace pair bowled their ten overs on the reel, as only Soeb Mujiani and Rehan Adil reached double figures.
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd