Lancs stunned by super over defeat
Lancashire's Friends Life t20 dreams are over after losing to the Leicestershire Foxes in a dramatic Super Over Eliminator at Edgbaston earlier today
Chasing an eventual Duckworth Lewis revised target of 80 from eleven overs after rain had ruined the main contest, Gareth Cross hit the last ball of the match for six over long-on off Wayne White to secure a tie.
And that brought about the first ever Super Over Eliminator in English Twenty20 history, which meant both teams faced six balls with three nominated batsmen.
Stephen Moore, who hit 43 off 31 balls in the main match, then hit Claude Henderson’s left-arm spin for six over long-off with the first ball before Steven Croft pulled a four to set a target of 14.
But Will Jefferson hit Gary Keedy for two fours and six to secure a win for the Foxes with one ball to spare.
Glen Chapple, who won the toss and elected to bowl this morning, gave his side the ideal start to the 20-over contest when he had Josh Cobb caught behind by a tumbling Cross with the first ball of the match.
And, despite some solid contributions from Jefferson (23), Jacques du Toit, James Taylor and Paul Nixon, the Foxes struggled to post a competitive score even though master blaster Abdul Razzaq teed off after a rain delay.
The Pakistani, who hit 62 off 30 balls in a North Division tie at Old Trafford earlier this season, walloped three sixes and two fours in a 28-ball 36 to give his side a total of 132-6.
Lancashire were further boosted with successive balls at the end of the third over and start of the fourth when Farveez Maharoof had Andrew McDonald caught at mid-on and Sajid Mahmood uprooted Jefferson’s middle stump.
Du Toit and Taylor then shared 33 in 4.1 overs for the fourth wicket before the former was stumped by Cross off Keedy’s second ball.
And it was clear from a pretty early stage that spin would play a major part in the contest.
Taylor was allowed a life on 15 later in the over when Cross failed to collect a spinning Keedy delivery with Taylor out of his ground. But that slip only cost another four runs because Cross did the business off the bowling of the exceptional Stephen Parry (1-15 from four).
Parry’s wicket, leaving the score at 82-5 in the 12th, helped the 25 year-old secure a rare maiden. So rare in fact that it was the county’s first of the competition and only the third in nine Finals Days for any team.
A 45-minute rain delay then forced two overs per side to be lopped off the contest before Razzaq cut loose on the return.
He hit sixes off Keedy, Maharoof and Mahmood, helping to take 14 runs off Maharoof in the 16th over before losing Nixon to a run out in the next over.
But Maharoof responded superbly in the final over of the innings, only conceding six runs.
Chasing an initially revised target of 134 off 18 overs, Lancashire’s innings then got off to the ideal start when Moore clipped Matthew Hoggard’s first ball for four to long-leg, but Razzaq bowled a tight second over and Hoggard a tight third to leave the score at 13-0 after three.
Moore then hit Razzaq for four successive boundaries – one straight, two over long-leg and one through point – to take 17 runs off the fourth over, leaving the score at 30-0.
Tom Smith was the first wicket to go when he was trapped lbw by Henderson, and another 25 minutes of rain with the score at 53-1 after 8.1 overs left Lancashire chasing another 27 runs off 17 balls with nine wickets in hand.
And that was when the drama really started.
Lancashire then lost five wickets in 14 balls to give the Foxes the upper hand.
White looked to have done the job as Lancashire stuttered, but Cross found the ropes to bring about a bit of history in the English game.
Afterwards skipper Glen Chapple praised his team's effort saying: "It was destined to be a really close game. We felt pretty comfortable before we came off for rain at 53-1. We felt comfortable, but we still knew that it would be close.
"With the reduction, it takes it down to anyone's game. 27 off 17 balls, we still tought we had a great chance, But when you lose wickets and get two new batsmen in, they find it difficult. We lost it from there.
"To me, you realise it becomes a little bit of 'whatever happens, happens'. We're disappointed not to win, but it's about entertainment.
"I don't have a problem with how we went out. You've just to deal with it as best you can. Whether it's the right format, that's not for me to talk about today.
“We can walk away knowing we have given it our best, although whether we played as good as we can I don’t know.
“There is no blame attached to anyone today. We have given it our best, it was a close game and we have lost. It is tough, but we have to move on."
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
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