Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone inspires them to Vitality Blast T20 win at Durham

Lancashire's Liam Livingstone led them to victory against Durham
Lancashire's Liam Livingstone led them to victory against Durham
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Liam Livingstone starred with both bat and ball to maintain Lancashire Lightning’s impressive start to the Vitality Blast, defeating Durham by five wickets at Emirates Riverside.

The 25-year-old displayed his all-round ability by taking 2-21 with his combination of off and leg-spin, while Matt Parkinson took four wickets as the home side were bowled out for 139 from their 20 overs.

Livingstone took centre stage with the bat to chase down the total, blasting the Durham attack around the park with an innings of 70 from 48 deliveries.

It proved to be enough to take the Lightning over the line, although the ending was tighter than visitors would have expected.

However, Lancashire earned their fourth win of the campaign and extend their lead at the top of the North Group.

Durham won the toss and batted first, and Steven Croft could have dismissed the dangerous D’Arcy Short from his first ball, only to drop a brisk return catch.

Scott Steel’s return from injury did not last long as he fell for six attempting to scoop Saqib Mahmood over the top and was caught behind.

Short and Graham Clark found their rhythm at the crease and guided Durham towards the 50-run mark at the powerplay.

However, Richard Gleeson produced a quick delivery that Short skied into the air and was taken comfortably by Dane Vilas moving forward.

Durham’s progress was further stymied after the introduction of Parkinson.

Ben Raine had swept the first ball of the leg-spinner’s over for four, but he returned to pin the left-hander LBW.

Parkinson then turned a delivery through Clark’s defences in the same over, leaving the home side with work ahead of them at 72-4.

Alex Lees and Peter Handscomb were forced to rebuild the innings in the middle overs.

Both players were finding life difficult to find the boundary and Handscomb’s struggles resulted in his dismissal when he caught by James Faulkner off Gleeson.

Skipper Stuart Poynter lost his wicket to Parkinson’s spin, while the Lancashire bowler collected his fourth wicket by dismissing Lees courtesy of a fine catch by Croft.

Durham edged their way towards 139 before Faulkner ended the innings by removing Nathan Rimmington.

The chase required a rate of seven runs per over, and Alex Davies ensured that the Lightning got off to a strong start, finding the boundary from the opening two balls of the innings.

Livingstone opened his arms and found the boundary with regularity during the powerplay, including dispatching a short Rimmington ball over the head of Liam Trevaskis at square leg.

Matty Potts broke the opening stand with the final ball of the sixth over as Davies chipped tamely to Trevaskis for 24, although he left his team in a strong position at 57 for one.

Livingstone continued to punish the Durham attack, driving Trevaskis straight over his head for a six to the long-on boundary.

The 25-year-old reached his half-century from 28 balls, keeping Lancashire well ahead of the rate.

Glenn Maxwell came and went cheaply, falling to his compatriot Short as he picked out Potts in the deep.

The Australian then picked up his second wicket by bowling former Durham man Keaton Jennings to put the pressure on the visitors.

Livingstone’s impressive innings came to an end when Trevaskis turned one past the opener, who was stumped by Poynter.

However, Vilas and Faulkner calmed any nerves to guide their team to the victory target in the penultimate over on 140-5.