Lancashire through to last eight
Lancashire secured a place in the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals as another superb bowling display earned them a thrilling 12-run win against Warwickshire at Old Trafford.
Stephen Moore’s 76 from 58 balls helped the Lightning to 139 for eight on the same slow pitch used for Saturday’s NatWest Series one-day international between England and Sri Lanka.
But it did not look like being enough when Warwickshire opener Will Porterfield embarked upon an innings of 63 off 64 deliveries.
At its easiest, the Warwickshire target was 37 needed off the last five overs with nine wickets in hand.
However, like yesterday, when Lancashire defended 111 at Northamptonshire, pace bowlers Junaid Khan and Sajid Mahmood were excellent, backed up well by Farveez Maharoof.
The target became 23 off 12 balls and then 18 off the last over with some expert death bowling.
The Bears finished on 127 for four as the hosts won their fifth match on the spin to clinch third place in the North Division - and an away quarter-final - with a game to spare.
Despite Moore’s effort, only opening partner Tom Smith gave him any real assistance with 26 after Steven Croft elected to bat.
They put on 61 for the first wicket inside eight overs, posting their seventh half-century stand in 15 FLt20 outings this summer.
With those two together, Lancashire were looking at a total around the 160-mark, but they failed to find the fence in six overs after the powerplay as spin duo Jeetan Patel, who took the new ball, and Ant Botha put the brakes on with two wickets each.
Lancashire stumbled with the bat for the second night in a row. Croft, Karl Brown, Gareth Cross and Moore all mistimed shots and the last five wickets fell for just 12 runs in 14 deliveries.
Both Darren Maddy, who later could not bat after taking a blow on the finger, and Keith Barker struck with their first balls, Maddy with Croft caught at third man and Barker with Cross held at cover.
Rikki Clarke took three catches, including a stunning diving effort to snare opener Smith at midwicket off Botha in the eighth over.
Three wickets fell in the final over of Lancashire’s innings, bowled by Chris Woakes. He had Moore caught and bowled and trapped Luke Procter lbw with the first two balls before Mahmood was run out by wicketkeeper Richard Johnson from the last.
Junaid was the only one of Lancashire’s five-man bowling attack not to pick up a wicket as they scrapped successfully to defend their total. Mahmood, Maharoof and spinners Gary Keedy and Stephen Parry all struck.