Razzaq puts Lancashire to the sword
Debutant Abdul Razzaq stunned Lancashire with a brutal innings as Leicestershire claimed their second Friends Life t20 win of the summer at Old Trafford.
Chasing a Duckworth-Lewis target of 165 from 19 overs, the Foxes slumped to 99 for six in the 15th over and later needed 62 off the last 24 balls.
However, Pakistan all-rounder Razzaq clubbed five sixes and three fours in a 30-ball 62 and shared an unbroken stand of 66 with Wayne White, who hit two maximums in 17 not out off 10 deliveries, to guide the visitors home.
Razzaq only landed in England yesterday but helped to take 25 off the 16th over, bowled by Lancashire stand-in skipper Steven Croft.
Having been dropped by Stephen Moore on 26, the all-rounder cleared the long-on fence off successive deliveries.
White then hit maximums in a similar area off Gary Keedy and Kyle Hogg in the last two overs as the points were secured with four wickets and one ball to spare - but only after Tom Smith almost pulled off a stunning catch at mid-off to deny Razzaq the winning runs.
Fellow overseas all-rounder Andrew McDonald had laid a solid platform with an excellent 57 off 40 balls, but Leicestershire slipped from 60 for two in the seventh over.
The hosts’ trio of spinners, Keedy, Simon Kerrigan and Stephen Parry all struck, with Keedy and Kerrigan getting two wickets each to put the skids under the Leicestershire reply.
Lancashire openers Moore and Tom Smith had been instrumental in guiding their side to a competitive total, adding 88 inside 10 overs after a slow start.
Moore top-scored with 48 off 39 balls and Smith contributed 45 off 27, with both batsmen increasing their scoring rate after taking only 29 runs off the first five overs.
Despite Smith holing out to McDonald at long-on as part-time spinner Josh Cobb struck in the 10th over, the hosts scored 60 runs off the next five.
Smith pulled Matthew Hoggard for six and whacked Cobb over long-off – the ball before departing – and Moore square-cut Hoggard for another maximum.
Claude Henderson played a part in dragging things back by having Moore stumped by Paul Nixon and Croft caught and bowled in the 13th over on the way to figures of 2-26 from four overs.
Lancashire also lost Paul Horton and Gareth Cross, but a four and six off the last two balls of the innings from Jordan Clark boosted the total.
Smith then had Cobb caught at mid-on by a juggling Clark with the first ball of the Leicestershire innings before McDonald found his feet quickly.
He shared 33 for the third wicket with James Taylor but the innings slipped as soon as the latter was trapped lbw by Kerrigan.
Nixon was stumped by Cross off a Keedy wide, McDonald punted the same bowler to Horton at long-off and Jacques Du Toit found Clark at midwicket off Kerrigan before Razzaq’s fireworks turned the contest and inflicted a first defeat of this season’s campaign on Lancashire.