Royal London Cup Lancashire v erbyshire August 7th

Neil Whitaker reports from Old Trafford

DERBYSHIRE Falcons search for a list A victory at Emirates Old Trafford goes on after they went down to Lancashire Lightning by 39 runs with 3.4 overs left.

The last  time they won at Manchester was in 1997 in the Benson and Hedges cup, today their hopes were high when they had the Lightning struggling at 67 for four in the 21st over then they were hit by a record Lightning fifth wicket stand of 254 by Steven Croft and Rob Jones.  They beat the 128 made by Mike Atherton & Mike Watkinson v Oxfordshire at Oxford in 1992 and the 128 by Jason Gallian & Neil Fairbrother v Leicestershire at Grace Road in 1997, rescued the Lancashire Lightning innings after it had slumped to 67 for in the 21st over.

Jones said: “We knew coming into the game it would be a used wicket, it was a tough surface. Me and Croft just tried to adapt to the conditions. It was a tough, grinding knock I suppose and it was a good partnership between us to get up to a good total. I love batting with Croft, he’s so experienced and has such a great head on his shoulders. I’ve always looked up to him, he always takes the positive option and just class. 

Then the bowlers backed it up brilliantly. The spinners and Williams  and Hurt bowled beautifully. It was a great team performance. You can’t ask for more than that on a tough wicket.

We had a great competition last year but didn’t just get over the line, so we are hoping to go one better and get through to the knock-out stages. The lads have been brilliant so we’ve now got to keep that momentum, keep that buzz and keep pushing.” 

The Falcons Alex Thomson took three for 14 in thirteen balls.  First Josh Bohannon played across the line to his fourth ball and was plumb leg before.  Thomson got his second wicket when Keaton Jennings played around a straight ball which knocked the middle stump out off the ground and made a mess of the off stump.The off spinner got on an hattrick when  Washington Sundar chipped him to Godleman at mid off. 

Thomson said: “It’s very disappointing to lose and we’ll look back and reflect that we should have got over the line.  I think we gave them 20 too many runs.  Partnership’s were crucial and if we had got another one with Shan Masood we would have got over the line. It’s nice to get three wickets but disappointed that it didn’t contribute to a victory.  We can’t afford another defeat or we are out of the competition.”

Croft swept Matty McKiernan for consecutive fours to take him into the 30’s. The first just beat Shan Masood in the square leg boundary but the second was finer and beat Shan Masood easily.

The former Lightning captain edged Sam Conners inches wide off Brooke Guest who had to dive to his right and Croft picked up a four.  Croft worked  Matt Watt to third man for a couple to bring up his fifty from 73 balls and included four fours.  He went down the pitch to Watt  and managed to squeeze the ball out to third man for three to bring up their hundred partnership off 133 balls thanks to good running by Jones.

Jones nudged Watt to mid wicket for a single to bring up his fifty from 71 balls and amazingly he only hit one four in it. Croft checkily chipped Conners over Ben Godleman at mid off for a couple as the pair added 68 in their last 10 overs

After winning the toss and deciding to  bat, the Lightning lost an early wicket in the fifth over when Luke Wells tentatively pushed at Conners and stumper  Guest took a low catch.

Bohannon got hit on his right hand by that rise at him from Conners before he had scored and it took him 12 balls to get off the mark.  On six he smashed Luis  Reece to deep mid wicket but fell short off Conners on the boundary.  

The Falcons chase got off to a confident start when Reece off drove Liam Hurt and beat Jennings to the mid off boundary and he drove the next ball to the mid off boundary, he was pleased with that shot as he held the pose for the photographers. 

In the next over Reece was back in the hutch when he top edged a pull off Will Williams and the ball went miles in the air before it dropped to substitute George Bell coming in from the mid wicket boundary.

Without adding to the score Hurt beat Falcons skipper Godleman for pace  and smashed into his middle stump and got a wicket maiden.

Williams got his second wicket when Harry Came was caught down the legside by Lavelle. It took an age for Cane to drag himself off the field disgusted by umpire Ben Peverall’s decision.

Guest hammered Danny  Lamb gracefully to the cover boundary.  Just as he was looking comfortable and after adding 30 in seven overs with Shan Masood he chipped Washington to Croft at mid wicket.

As the Lightning innings relied on a fifth wicket partnership so the Falcons innings relied on a sixth wicket partnership of 48 in 12 overs between Shan Masood and McKiernan. Williams was brought back into the attack to bowl at McKiernan  and like Hurt he struck with his first ball. It kept low and umpire Peverall had no hesitation in giving him out. 

Shan Masood top scored with 82 before he was the last man out when he went down the pitch to Williams and launched him to deep mid wicket where Jones took a diving catch. On 38 Shan Masood tried to reverse sweep Jack Morley missed the ball which hit him on his funnybone.  He rocked back to Wells and clipped the ball effortlessly to the square leg boundary.  Shane Masood reached his fifty on his List A debut for the Falcons when he turned Hurt off his hips for a couple. His fifty came from 75 balls and included two fours.

Hurt was brought back into the attack and he struck with his first ball.  Anuj Dal, who added 41 in 11 overs with Shane Masood, tried to run Hurt to the third man boundary but got an underedge to it and played on.

Thomson chipped Wells back to the bowler who had to leap to his right to take the catch and Shane Masood couldn’t believe that he had taken the catch.

With the Falcons needing 76 off 10 overs,  Watt gave Washington the long handle treatment and just cleared Wells on the long off boundary for a six. At the other end Morley spun one in at him found his edge and stumper George Lavelle took the catch.

Ben Aitchison was bowled by Washington with one that came back at him and knocked his leg stump out of the ground.


August 11, 2022 12:04 am

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