Lancashire's hopes of a home draw in the quarter finals of the Friends Provident Trophy were boosted with an entertaining eight-wicket Duckworth Lewis win against Glamorgan at Cardiff's SWALEC Stadium on Friday night.
Oliver Newby claimed career best figures of 4-41 from six overs to restrict the hosts to 172-8 from their allocation of 31 overs after rain had interrupted proceedings after 21 overs with the hosts 122-1.
And Tom Smith then hit a superb unbeaten 88-ball 87, also a one-day best, to keep his side at the top of the group, where they must stay to earn a home draw.
Three hours of rain meant the Lightning were chasing a Duckworth Lewis revised target of 208 from 31 overs in their penultimate Group D clash. Smith and Mark Chilton (58 not out) shared an unbroken third wicket stand of 132 to clinch the win with three overs to spare.
“It was great to be there at the end to see the side home, and be not out,” said Smith, who claimed the man of the match award. “Chilly had an important over, hitting (David) Harrison for 4, 4, 6, to virtually see us home.”
The Lightning were under the cosh early on after stand-in skipper Luke Sutton, leading the side because of Glen Chapple’s tight calf, won the toss and elected to bowl. Australian left-hander Mark Cosgrove blasted his way to 68 off 65 balls.
But Newby whipped out Cosgrove, Tom Maynard, Jamie Dalrymple and Mark Wallace in the ten overs after the resumption of play. Glamorgan fell from 125-1 to 172-8 within the space of ten overs, as Smith claimed two wickets in two balls in the final over of the innings.
Paul Horton hit five boundaries in a speedy 29-ball 34 to help the visitors to 68-0 in the ninth over of the chase. Glamorgan seamer James Harris then bowled Horton and had Ashwell Prince caught behind by Wallace, reducing the score to 76-2 in the eleventh over.
But Smith and Chilton knocked the ones and twos to begin with before accelerating as Glamorgan lost hope. They dropped numerous catches, some hard and some not, including Smith three times.
Chilton reached his 50 off just 36 balls, and later, as Smith mentioned, walloped Harrison for two straight fours and a straight six in three consecutive balls in an innings of 58 off 42 balls.
“We never got into a situation where we looked under pressure,” said coach Peter Moores. “To see Tom bat like that was a real pleasure. I feel a lot of pleasure for him because he has worked hard at his game, and has grabbed his chance. Tom’s been working at a few things all the way through, and they are starting to work for him. He has a real calmness batting upfront.”
Smith’s previous best was a 66 in the corresponding fixture at Old Trafford, while he also hit 59 against Derbyshire on Wednesday.
Lancashire are four points clear at the top of Group D, although Essex have two games in hand. If Essex win one of those, Lancashire will have to beat the Eagles at Old Trafford on Wednesday to top the group.
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC