Lancashire Blast past Durham to claim Vitality T20 victory

Steven Croft was among the runs for Lancashire
Steven Croft was among the runs for Lancashire
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Steven Croft and Glenn Maxwell hit half-centuries as Lancashire brushed Durham aside by 72 runs in a one-sided Vitality Blast clash at Emirates Old Trafford.

Powerful with the bat and clinical with the ball and in the field, the Lightning claimed their first win in their second North Group game after Friday’s no result at Leicestershire.

Watched by a non-Roses record crowd of 13,710 for the club’s Community Day, Croft and Australia international Maxwell underpinned an imposing 189-3, having elected to bat.

In response, Durham, who have now won one and lost one, did not threaten the target and were bowled out for 117 inside 17 overs, including opener Scott Steel’s 58.

This clash was played out on one of the new hybrid pitches, which do not deteriorate as quickly as normal pitches.

While the true surface favoured the batsmen, Durham’s task was just too tall.

Croft opened the batting for the first time in T20 in 10 years and top-scored with 65 not out off 43 balls, including two of nine sixes in the innings.

He became only the sixth Lancashire batsman to bat through an innings and shared 93 in 8.3 overs for the second wicket with overseas all-rounder Maxwell, who came in with the score at 39-1.

Maxwell, fresh from a disappointing World Cup, crashed four sixes in 58 off 33 balls, including one off D’Arcy Short’s left-arm wrist spin which thudded into the pavilion’s third-tier balcony.

He later pulled the same bowler to deep square-leg when threatening to go into overdrive as Lancashire fell to 132-2 in the 14th over.

Alex Davies (24) had set the tone with successive sixes off seamer Brydon Carse in the fifth over, including one pulled out of the ground.

Croft then opened the bowling with his off-spinners and only conceded three off the first over before James Faulkner’s third ball accounted for Short (5).

Steel hit successive sixes off Toby Lester at the start of the fifth over but Maxwell ran out Ben Raine as Durham ended the power play at 30-2.

Matthew Parkinson later had Durham captain Stuart Poynter caught at short fine-leg as the visitors fell to 64-4 after 11 overs to all but end their hopes.

Parkinson later had Steel, trying to reverse sweep a second six, caught on the deep point boundary and Carse caught at deep mid-wicket to finish with 3-30.