Prince steers Lancs to T-20 victory

Prince - unbeaten knock
Prince - unbeaten knock
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Lancashire’s cricketers moved above hosts Durham into fourth place in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group after sealing a six-wicket victory at Chester-le-Street.

With Ashwell Prince anchoring the pursuit of Durham’s 141 all out with an unbeaten 63, the Lightning were able to pace their reply much more comfortably than had looked likely.

Durham were 93 for three after 10 overs but were throttled by Lancashire’s three spinners, Arron Lilley, Stephen Parry and Steven Croft.

They had combined figures of four for 61 in 11 overs, which enabled Kyle Jarvis to pick up two late wickets and finish with three for 24 in his first T20 appearance.

There were also three wickets for James Faulkner, who hit two big leg-side sixes in helping Prince to take Lancashire within sight of victory.

Only 12 were needed when he was sensationally caught on the mid-wicket boundary for 23. Ryan Pringle took the catch but as he slid towards the rope he flipped the ball up for Scott Borthwick to juggle before clinging on.

It did not stop Lancashire easing home with 11 balls to spare go oust Durham from fourth spot by virtue of a superior run rate.

Jarvis redeemed himself after conceding 14 runs and four leg byes in the game’s opening over.

After choosing to bat, Durham’s one-day skipper Mark Stoneman opened up with a 28-ball half-century. It was only his third in T20 cricket and two of them have come against Lancashire this season.

He reached it with his sixth four off the second ball of the 11th over, but that was the last time Durham found the boundary.

Stoneman square-drove off-spinner Lilley to the rope to reach 51, but then went down the pitch to a leg-stump ball and missed it. He seemed to think he had been stumped, but the third umpire confirmed he was bowled.

Prince had three escapes. One one he sliced John Hastings to Keaton Jennings at cover on the half volley, on 36 he was badly missed by Borthwick at long off; and on 46 he survived a sharp return chance to Pringle.

Otherwise he looked in control as he worked the ball into spaces to reach 50 off 42 balls.

When Lancashire needed 43 off the last five overs the pressure was eased by Faulkner smashing Pringle high over mid-wicket for six.

And when he repeated the shot off Usman Arshad it was as good as over.

ictorious skipper Croft said: “Coming off the back of two defeats it was just what we needed and sets us up for the visit of Birmingham Bears on Friday night.

“The spinners brought it back really well for us after Durham got off to a flier.”

Durham captain Stoneman added: “We butchered it after a great start. We should have had 170-180 and I have to take some responsibility myself for getting out when I did.”