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Lightning rise above Jones high five

Lancashire Lightning hung on to claim a nine-run victory over Leicestershire Foxes at Emirates Old Trafford in the NatWest T20 Blast.

The hosts posted 166 for seven from their 20 overs despite Richard Jones taking 5-34 to enjoy a memorable Leicestershire debut.

The seamer had joined the Foxes on a one-month loan from Warwickshire earlier today.

Richard Jones, centre, soaks up his team-mates' acclaim on a debut to remember but his five-wicket haul could not lift the Foxes to victory

Leicestershire stayed just about in contention until the final over, from which they needed 17 runs, but Kabir Ali kept it tight enough as the visitors ended on 157 for seven.

The result means Lancashire remain level on points with North Group leaders Worcestershire thanks to five wins from seven matches, although the Rapids boast a superior net run-rate.

The Lightning got off an assured start, with in-form opener Tom Smith crashing 50 off 36 balls, but Jones made an instant impression with his new team-mates.

He claimed the scalps of Ashwell Prince and Karl Brown as the boundaries dried up for Lancashire.

Limited-overs captain Paul Horton joined forces with Smith, who spoke to ecb.co.uk today, to put on 50 for the third wicket before the latter was trapped lbw by Rob Taylor.

Jones was the man doing most of the damage, though, and, after snaring Horton for a run-a-ball 40, he was on a hat-trick when he thwarted dangermen Steven Croft and Jos Buttler from successive balls.

Lancashire withstood the hat-trick ball and finished strongly, taking 20 off the final over and finishing their innings with a mighty six from Arron Lilley – Jordan Clark having done likewise.

Jordan Clark celebrates the wicket of Niall O'Brien - a vital early scalp that paved the way for Lancashire's victory bid

Leicestershire raced out of the blocks, Josh Cobb in swashbuckling form, but Clark bowled his opening partner Niall O'Brien for nine in the third over.

By the end of the powerplay, Cobb and Greg Smith were also back in the shed – encouraging careful progress to 74 for three at the halfway stage.

Matthew Boyce top-scored with 47 before he was bowled by Junaid Khan – the Lightning’s yorker specialist excelling once more with 3-30 and, off the final ball, Kabir rattled Taylor's poles to seal victory in style for Lancashire.

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