Ashwell Prince's superb unbeaten 98 helped Lancashire beat Scotland by seven wickets in the Yorkshire Bank 40 at Emirates Old Trafford tonight, and it was some way to celebrate the opening of the redeveloped pavilion as well.
The Club opened the doors on the new pavilion to Members for the first time, which means that phase two of the ground’s redevelopment is now complete ahead of August’s eagerly anticipated Investec Ashes Test match.
The Lightning chased down 218 for the loss of three wickets after the Saltires had posted 217-9 after electing to bat as Prince led the way after four wickets for Wayne White.
Prince faced 102 balls and hit seven fours and two sixes, although he missed out on a century when Gordon Goudie bowled a no ball to Tom Smith which went for four byes to finish the match midway through the 37th over.
Nevertheless, the third win on the spin lifts the Red Rose up the Group B table with four matches left, the first of which does not come until August 13 due to the break for Twenty20.
South African Prince is confident they can still qualify for the semi-finals. He said: "We got off to a slow start in the competition, which means we need to win more or less every game we play now, which is a good thing.
“We know there's no margin for error, and we need to be on the button. I think the boys were today, especially in the field.
"We know we have the beating of any team in this competition. It's obviously frustrating that we got off to a slow start. The belief is all that matters. We don't fear anybody. It is a bit of a tough situation having to win every game, but we'll give it a full go and see what happens.”
Half-centurions Freddie Coleman and Calum MacLeod had shared 90 for the third wicket through the middle of the visitors’ innings to put them on course for a total in the region of 250 after they had elected to bat first.
But they will be rueing the loss of six wickets for just 24 runs in 27 balls to slip from 191-3 in the 36th over. Captain Preston Mommsen also chipped in with 46 while Kabir Ali also struck twice for the Lightning.
Incredibly, this was Lancashire’s first win in four List A matches against Scotland at this venue having lost the previous three meetings.
White, who missed the Essex Eagles win on Sunday, returned the side in place of rested Glen Chapple and led the way with 4-38 from eight overs at either end of the Saltires’ innings. Five Scottish wickets fell to catches off the top edge. White also struck twice in the space of five balls in the 38th over.
Australian overseas player Simon Katich missed this match through illness, but he was presented with his county cap just before the start of the match following some excellent form, including a maiden century for the club in the recent LV= County Championship win over Essex at Chelmsford.
He is expected to be back in contention for Thursday’s Championship match with Division Two table-toppers Northamptonshire here.
Moore and Prince got the Lightning’s reply off to a commanding start with the county’s highest opening partnership of the season in this format. The pair hit off-spinner Majid Haq for straight sixes towards the pavilion.
Impressive leg-spinner Moneeb Iqbal then got rid of Moore and Steven Croft before Karl Brown fell to a stunning one-handed catch from Mommsen having turned to run towards the point boundary off Haq before the match ended in confusion with Goudie bowling to Smith.
"It was a bit disappointing not to get a ton, but the umpire wasn't sure what was happening either - whether it was a wide or no ball,” added Prince. “In the end it was a no ball and four byes. It added up to six, and unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to get a ton. The most important thing was to win.
“We've come off a good tour down south with a good couple of wins in this competition, so we really needed to keep the momentum going. They played well today. We know they got a reasonable score, and it was a good professional effort by our guys.”
Photo of Ashwell Prince (c) Simon Pendrigh