Lancashire openers help them to Blast past Northamptonshire
New Zealand opener Finn Allen made his third half-century in 11 Vitality Blast innings this season as Lancashire thrashed Northamptonshire by eight wickets at Emirates Old Trafford.
Allen made 66 off 37 balls with seven fours and three sixes as his side overhauled Northamptonshire s moderate total of 142-8 with 26 balls to spare on Friday evening.
The result keeps Lancashire’s hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals very much alive, but their opponents’ chances are very slim after an evening in which all three facets of the game let them down.
Northamptonshire's innings got off to a dreadful start when they lost openers Ben Curran and Ricardo Vasconcelos in the first 11 balls.
Steven Croft and Tom Hartley were the successful bowlers, and they were joined by Liam Hurt in the fifth over when Josh Cobb (20) clipped him to Danny Lamb at short fine leg.
Poorly placed on 42-3 after their powerplay, Northamptonshire’s rebuilding job was left in the hands of Rob Keogh and Mohammad Nabi.
The pair added 60 in nearly nine overs before Nabi was lbw for 27 when attempting a pull off Lamb.
Keogh made 56, despite appearing to suffer a leg injury, but he was one of four wickets to fall in the final four overs.
Lancashire, by contrast, were outstanding, with at least five fine catches taken in the deep.
Hurt’s 3-22 represented his best return in T20 cricket, while Lamb took 2-27 and Luke Wells conceded only 18 runs from three overs of leg-spin.
Lancashire's reply got off to a very brisk start with 50 coming up in 33 balls as both Allen and Keaton Jennings scored freely.
The pair had made 112 before Allen pulled Nabi to Cobb at mid-wicket.
However, neither that wicket, nor that of Alex Davies (7), caught at deep mid-wicket by Nabi off Freddie Heldreich, could slow Lancashire.
Having reached his own 50 off 38 balls, nine more than Allen had taken, Jennings was unbeaten on 54 when victory was clinched by Dane Vilas’ massive six.
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