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Lightning back to winning ways

Lancashire Lightning ended a run of three games without a win in the Friends Life t20 by narrowly beating Leicestershire Foxes in a last-ball thriller at Emirates Old Trafford.

Simon Katich's unbeaten 62 off 43 balls had underpinned a home total of 155 for four, which had looked like being higher when 43 runs came off the first four overs.

Foxes spinners Jigar Naik and Shakib Al Hasan returned combined figures of 1-42 from eight overs and Leicestershire duly made a strong fist of their reply as Greg Smith contributed a career-best 84 from just 56 deliveries.

The visitors needed 21 from the final two overs, but Smith and Rob Taylor then fell in Kabir Ali’s final set of six, which yielded just five runs and completed a return of 3-26.

Before long, Leicestershire required an unlikely 11 off two balls and although Michael Thornely heaved Mitchell McClenaghan over cow corner for six, he was then run out by wicketkeeper Gareth Cross to ensure the Red Rose emerged victorious by four runs.

Earlier, Lancashire's Stephen Moore was run out following a mix-up with Karl Brown, who later threw his wicket away when he advanced to Shakib and was stumped after an ugly swipe to leave the hosts at 73 for three in the ninth.

Brown had slog-swept a huge six off left-arm seamer Rob Taylor that almost cleared one of the new two-tiered stands.

After the first four overs all went for double-figure scores only five more in the innings went for more than nine.

Yet Katich continued his good form in this competition with five fours and a six over midwicket off Josh Cobb's part-time off-spin. The left-hander has now scored 199 runs from five innings.

Despite losing three wickets inside the first 10 overs of their chase at a cost of 70, Leicestershire were always favourites to win with right-handed Smith at the crease.

But when he offered a sharp low chance to Ashwell Prince at mid-on off Kabir in the 19th, their chances were severely undermined.

Thornely nearly pulled the game out of the fire but McClenaghan held his nerve. Lancashire now have five points from five matches and Leicestershire two from four.

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