Lancashire overcome rain to progress
Lancashire Lightning reached the quarter-finals of the Friends Provident t20 after beating North Group leaders Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Old Trafford.
The Red Rose county gained revenge on Notts for a comprehensive defeat at Trent Bridge earlier in the competition and were also thankful for Warwickshire Bears’ win over Yorkshire Carnegie at Edgbaston.
Lancashire continued their impressive record at Old Trafford, where they have only lost eight Twenty20 games in as many seasons, including twice this summer.
Despite restricting David Hussey’s side to a below-par 136 for seven after the Australian elected to bat, they were forced to chase a Duckworth/Lewis-altered target of 81 off 10 overs after an hour’s rain delay.
However, Stephen Moore crashed 51 not out off 24 balls to underpin his side’s nine-wicket win with 10 balls to spare.
Opener Alex Hales was the only man who went beyond 11 for the visitors, notching his fourth Twenty20 half-century and finishing with a career-best 83 off 61 balls.
The 21-year-old was dropped on 24 by Moore at deep square-leg off Tom Smith in the seventh over.
He hit eight fours and a six, over midwicket off Sajid Mahmood, before being bowled by left-arm spinner Gary Keedy in the penultimate over of the innings.
Veteran Red Rose spinner Keedy was playing his first game of the summer after breaking his right collarbone in a pre-season friendly. He finished with 2-27 from four overs, also dismissing Chris Read.
Stand-in captain Mark Chilton opened the bowling with Nathan McCullum and Simon Kerrigan, both spinners. The former finished with 2-23.
The New Zealand international had Ali Brown caught at mid-on by Steven Croft off the fourth ball of the match and later had Steven Mullaney caught and bowled.
Mullaney was the only other Notts player to hit a boundary aside from Hales.
Smith also chipped in with 2-6 from two overs. The seamer had Matt Wood and Samit Patel caught at midwicket and mid-on by Chilton and Mahmood respectively.
Smith and Moore then added 43 for the first wicket inside five overs in a definitive opening stand before Smith was trapped lbw by Ryan Sidebottom for 16.
Moore hit sixes over square-leg and midwicket off Darren Pattinson and Dirk Nannes in the first two overs of the reply.
A feature of the home side’s batting was also their running between the wickets, turning ones into twos on a regular basis.
Moore struck a 24-ball half-century in a win against Yorkshire last Friday but bettered that by one ball tonight.
And Croft, who made 15 not out off 12 balls, lifted Graeme White for six over long-on to confirm the win.
Notts still need a victory from their last two matches to guarantee a home draw in the last eight.