Lancashire's FPt20 match against Warwickshire finished in a No Result at Edgbaston due to rain at the start of their innings.
Click on the image above for the match highlights
When the rain came Lancashire Lightning were 3-0 in their pursuit of 197 for victory, but after a prolonged heavy downpour, the umpires called a halt just after 5pm.
Jim Troughton top scored for the Bears with 66 off 35 balls, including four fours and four sixes, as they posted a daunting 196-9. Jonathan Trott also added a useful 42 off 34 at the top of the order.
Debutant Nathan McCullum finished with 3-31 from his four overs for Lancs, while Sajid Mahmood and James Anderson added 2-29 and 2-38 respectively.
“It was a big total, but you’ve got to put things into perspective,” said McCullum, the 29 year-old overseas player from New Zealand, who took the new ball.
“There was a short boundary on one side, it was a very good wicket, we defended well later in the innings, and we held them to a score which we thought was ok. We were confident enough.”
Warwickshire got off to an absolute flyer thanks to Neil Carter’s brutal 15-ball innings of 39. He helped to take 25 off the second over of the innings, Glen Chapple being the unlucky bowler.
The South African left-hander, who opens the batting and bowling in Twenty20, hit two sixes and two fours in four balls.
Carter swung at absolutely anything, be it straight, wide, short or full, helping his side pass 50 in the fifth over before he tried -and failed- to uppercut a Mahmood slower over Stephen Moore’s head at short third man.
Unfortunately for Lancashire though, with Carter back in the dug-out with his at 54-1, it was not the end of the Warwickshire clattering.
Ian Bell lofted Anderson over long-on for six in his brief stay at the crease – he provided McCullum with his first Red Rose scalp when he found Paul Horton at deep cover in the eighth.
And then Troughton tried to replicate Carter’s exploits in the second over of the innings. The former England one-day left-hander took a liking to the off-spin of Steven Croft, belting two sixes and two fours in the tenth.
The hosts reached 114-2 at the halfway stage, and looked well set to be the first team in 20-over history to post 200 against the Lightning.
Two wickets in the 14th over for McCullum, those of Darren Maddy and Rikki Clarke, gave Lancashire some hope. Maddy reverse swept to Mahmood at short third man and then Clarke found Tom Smith at long off two balls later.
Croft and Stephen Parry fought it out last season for the Catch of the Season contest. Well, somebody will have to go some to beat Smith’s effort, pouching it in his right hand above his head as he leapt on the boundary.
Troughton clobbered two sixes and a four in three balls off McCullum to bring up his 50 off 26 balls in the 16th, spoiling the New Zealander’s figures somewhat.
Captain Ian Westwood was then caught at mid off by Mahmood at the start of the next off Anderson, who also removed Chris Woakes caught and bowled at the end of the over. Woakes had hit two fours and a six in 14 off four balls in between.
Ant Botha top edged Mahmood to Gareth Cross in the 18th to the leave the hosts eight down.
Lancashire would have almost certainly been chasing north of 200, but they managed to starve Troughton of the strike in the last couple of overs.
“It (Twenty20) can be a bowler’s graveyard,” continued McCullum. “But, if you can be confident in what you do, it can give you a head start. I’ve certainly done a bit of it recently. Twenty20 has taken the world by storm, and everybody’s jumping on board. It’s something I enjoy, so it’s great to be here. Hopefully we can be successful.”
Lancashire face Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Trent Bridge on Tuesday evening.
Graham Hardcastle at Edgbaston
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd