Lancashire batted nervelessly to clinch a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over winless reigning champions Leicestershire in a topsy-turvy Friends Life t20 clash at Old Trafford last night.
Inspired by captain Glen Chapple and opening batsman Stephen Moore, the Lightning chased down 180 to win with one over to spare to secure their second North Division win in three matches, also recording their highest successful Twenty20 chase at Old Trafford.
Lancashire looked on course for victory as early as the sixth over when they reduced the Foxes to 29 for three thanks to two wickets for the metronomic Chapple, who finished with immaculate figures of two for 10 from four overs.
But the visitors, now without a win in their first four matches, made a stunning recovery to post 179 for four thanks to some power hitting from Abdul Razzaq, Matt Boyce and Wayne White.
Razzaq and Boyce shared 92 in 68 balls for the fourth wicket before Boyce and White crashed an unbroken 58 off just 21 balls for the fifth. Opener Razzaq finished with 61 off 51 balls, Boyce 63 not out off 38 and White unbeaten on 19 off nine.
However, it was still not enough as the Lightning completed the double over their visitors after Friday’s win at Grace Road.
Moore top-scored with 54 off 32 balls to record his sixth score of 50 or more in eight matches in either 20 or 40-over cricket this summer.
He was helped out by Tom Smith’s 42 before, with the game in the balance at 113 for two in the 13th over, Steven Croft and Karl Brown steered their side home with ease.
The pair shared an unbroken 67 in six and a half overs for the third wicket on a fantastic pitch for batting.
Croft finished 41 not out off 29 balls and Brown, who hit the winning runs, finished with 39 off 23.
Claude Henderson and Rob Taylor struck for Leicestershire.
The Lightning’s captain Chapple, playing only his fifth 20-over match since the end of the 2010 season, took the new ball and had Greg Smith caught on the third-man fence by Gary Keedy and trapped Ramnaresh Sarwan lbw.
They are the most economical figures by a Lancashire bowler who has bowled their full quota of four overs in Twenty20 history. In contrast, Keedy’s nought for 53 from four was the joint second most expensive set of figures in their history. Yasir Arafat also claimed two wickets.
Don’t miss Steven Croft’s Gazette column in Friday’s paper.