Lancashire win place in Royal London Cup final after fightback at Sussex

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Lancashire staged two remarkable comebacks at Hove to beat Sussex by 65 runs and reach the final of the Royal London Cup, their first 50-over final since 2006.
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Steven Croft of Blackpool and Lancashire hitting out for silverware

Lancashire’s first recovery was with the bat. Their innings was in disarray at 67-5 in the 15th over before it was transformed by a sixth wicket stand of 132 by captain Dane Vilas and George Lavelle (50).

Danny Lamb completed the repair work with 57 from 48 deliveries as they reached 319-8.

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Captain Dane Vilas inspired Lancashire's semi-final victory at HoveCaptain Dane Vilas inspired Lancashire's semi-final victory at Hove
Captain Dane Vilas inspired Lancashire's semi-final victory at Hove

Their second recuperation was in the field. Sussex were powerfully placed at 126-1 in the 22nd over but Lancashire squeezed the run-rate and prised out the batsmen a deserved victory.

The Sussex innings lost some momentum when Ali Orr’s 65-ball 71 came to an end, the second of three wickets for Liam Hurt.

There was a solid 49 off 59 by the returning Tom Haines but Sussex finished a long way short in the 47th over of their innings.

Lancashire had chosen to bat but their top order was blown away by the seam attack. And when Steven Croft, batting hero of their victory in the last round at Blackpool, and George Balderston were both caught behind off Fynn Hudson-Prentice, they were deep in the mire.

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But Vilas led the counter-attack, reaching a fine century from 89 deliveries, although he was almost caught in the covers by Pujara at 92.

His eventual 121 beat the previous best List A score by a Lancashire batsman at Hove, John Crawley’s 113 in 1997. There were eight fours and six sixes in his 99-ball stay.

The Red Rose will face Kent in the final at Trent Bridge on September 17.

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