Lancashire sweat on Royal London One-Day Cup qualification after agonising defeat at Warwickshire
Lancashire missed out on a chance to secure qualification from the Royal London Cup group stage following a five-wicket (Duckworth/Lewis) defeat to Warwickshire.
The Red Rose, having finished their campaign, need other results to go their way on Monday after the home side chased down a D/L target of 255 in 45 overs with two balls to spare.
Lancashire amassed 277 for seven thanks to skipper Dane Vilas's 83 (79 balls, six fours, two sixes) supported by a series of small contributions. Alex Thomson continued his fine tournament with List A-best figures of 10-1-27-3, including a burst of three wickets in 12 balls.
The home side then recovered from a superb opening spell of 8-2-15-3 from James Anderson to time their pursuit to perfection to the delight of a bumper Community Fun Day crowd at Edgbaston. Liam Banks struck 61(68 balls, three fours, one six) before Sam Hain saw the job through with consummate skill, his unbeaten 84 (100 balls, two fours and a six), raising further his remarkable List A career-average of 58.
Put in, Lancashire lost Haseeb Hameed to the eighth ball of the innings, lbw to an Olly Hannon-Dalby inswinger. But after a slow start, just six runs from the first five overs, they accelerated through a succession of solid partnerships.
Keaton Jennings (31, 40 balls) and Steven Croft added 56 in 12 overs and, after Jennings was bowled by Jeetan Patel, Croft (45, 48 balls) and Vilas added 40 in seven before Croft played on to George Panayi.
Vilas and Jake Lehmann kept the scoreboard ticking over with 80 in 15 overs but Thomson applied a brake with two wickets in three balls. Lehmann drove to mid-off and Rob Jones reverse-swept his second ball to gully.
When Vilas missed a cut at Thomson and was bowled, Lancashire were 192 for six and in danger of coming in short, but Josh Bohannon (37 not out, 45 balls) and Saqib Mahmood (a List A-best 45, 43 balls) added 83 in 12 overs to get the total up around par.
Warwickshire's reply started briskly but was pegged back by a high-class spell from Anderson. He bowled Dominic Sibley off an inside edge then produced perfect off-cutters to force fatal edges to wicketkeeper Vilas from Ed Pollock (38, 34 balls) and Will Rhodes.
Hain and Banks retrenched with a stand, twice interrupted by rain, of 111 in 22 overs. They posted their half-centuries from successive deliveries, from 73 and 59 balls respectively, Hain achieving the unusual feat of reaching 50 without hitting a four.
After another rain break altered the target again, Warwickshire resumed needing 96 from 11 overs and soon lost Banks who lifted Graham Onions to deep extra cover. But Hain, now batting with a runner after hurting a knee scrambling for a single, added 40 in five overs with Woakes (20, 16 balls) and then Alex Mellor (30 not out, 13 balls) arrived to inject the required impetus with two sixes in a Matt Parkinson over.
Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple said: "We probably didn't play as well as we have for the last five games, so you have to take it on the chin. Warwickshire played well and it was a close game. We didn't play badly but we have played some really good cricket over the last six games and it's been a really good campaign and there is still a good chance that we will qualify.
"We lost some wickets today in the middle of the innings that we haven't been losing in recent games and ended up probably 20 or 30 short. Then we had them three down and were on top but 50-over cricket is about continuing to take wickets, otherwise teams are capable of scoring big scores. We struggled to take wickets in a period of about 15 overs and when it comes down to 90-off needed off 11 overs of course you are still in the game but you need to keep taking wickets and we didn't take those today."