Lancashire foil Falcons in T20 Blast

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler
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An unbeaten 42 off 37 balls from Jos Buttler helped Lancashire reel in a 153 target to end Derbyshire’s winning start in the NatWest T20 Blast at Emirates Old Trafford.

The Falcons had won their first two North Group matches but were beaten on the same pitch used for Friday’s Roses tie.

Derbyshire posted 152-8 having elected to bat, and Buttler came in at 56-3 in the seventh over of the chase.

Lancashire’s second win from four was secured with five wickets in hand and nine balls to spare.

Wayne Madsen top-scored with an inventive 35-ball 52 for the Falcons, while Lancastrian Matt Critchley opened and hit 40 and ex-Red Rose all-rounder Luis Reece added 38.

But the visitors lost six wickets and scored only 41 runs in their last six over.

Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson claimed 3-17 on his limited overs debut, while Pakistan seamer Junaid Khan added 3-28.

Reece shared 60 in 7.1 overs for the second wicket with Critchley and 45 in 5.1 for the third with Madsen as the visitors reached 111-2 after 14.

Lancashire captain Steven Croft employed only two overs of seam in the first 11 as both sides used eight bowlers, a new English record for a T20.

Having struck with his sixth ball to get Critchley caught at deep mid-wicket in the ninth over, Parkinson had Reece caught at long-off in the 15th and bowled Matt Henry in the 17th.

Madsen reached 50 in the last over before edging behind a bouncer from Junaid, who yorked Alex Hughes next ball and had a huge hat-trick shout for lbw against Daryn Smit turned down off the final ball of the innings.

Lancashire’s chase was boosted when Liam Livingstone hit sixes over long-on and straight off overseas duo Henry and Imran Tahir o take the score to 48.

But Derbyshire hit back as Livingstone was the first of four players to fall for 24 as the score slipped to 72-4. Livingstone holed out to long-on to Tahir, who later trapped Croft lbw.

Sandwiched in between, reverse sweeping Arron Lilley fell for a golden duck as Critchley took a stunning diving catch at backward point off Reece’s leg-spin (he normally bowls seam). After Brown holed out to long-on off Hughes for 30, Lancashire reached halfway at 85-4 and still ahead on Duckworth Lewis Stern.

Buttler took few risks but ran particularly well, though Hardus Viljoen had Vilas caught at fine-leg hooking for 20.

The hosts went 7.3 overs without a boundary until the end of the 17th but by then they were 135-5.

Buttler hit only three fours. Ryan McLaren (24 not out) hit the winning runs.

Buttler said: “It was a solid win. We probably could have been a little bit better in the field. On Friday there’s 20,000 people in, and that brings a lot of intensity. I thought we needed to create a bit more intensity for ourselves today.”