Mohammad Nabi’s brilliant 86 not out off only 32 balls helped secure a stunning five-wicket victory for Leicestershire over Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Coming to the wicket with his side on 92-5 in the 11th over and needing another 99 runs to win the game, Nabi tore the Lancashire attack apart in a brutal display.
The Afghanistan all-rounder finished with eight sixes and four fours as the visitors cruised home with eight balls to spare.
Ateeq Javid, Nabi’s partner in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 102, made only 15 but finished the game with a pull for four off Matthew Parkinson in front of a crowd of 9,525.
Earlier in the evening, Alex Davies had made a career-best 94 not out in the home side’s 190-5 with Karl Brown (29), Steven Croft (26) and Josh Bohannon (26) providing solid support.
That total had looked plenty when the visitors lost a wicket in each of the first three overs of their reply to slump to 15-3, left-arm spinner Mark Watt taking a wicket with only his second ball for Lancashire.
Colin Ackermann (45) and Ben Raine (44) repaired the innings to some extent with a stand of 77 but both fell to successive balls from Parkinson.
That, however, only prepared the stage for Nabi, whose previous highest score in this year’s Vitality Blast was 32.
The 33-year-old hit almost all of Lancashire’s six-strong bowling attack for maximums and some of them cleared the boundary by more than 30 yards.
Defeat was tough on Davies, who produced a sparkling knock of his own to put Lancashire in a seemingly strong position.
The diminutive right-hander scored most of his early runs with ferocious drives as his side racked up 77 runs in the six powerplay overs.
He then helped later batsmen consolidate that progress when Foxes skipper Ackermann opted to take pace off the ball.
Davies shared 53 for the first wicket with Brown and then put on 58 with T20 debutant Bohannon for the third wicket.
Davies finished just short of his maiden T20 hundred, having struck 11 fours and two sixes as he batted through the innings, but in the end his efforts proved in vain as Nabi powered Leicestershire to victory.