Lancs thrash Dutch to reach summit
Lancashire stormed to the top of Group A in the Clydesdale Bank 40 with a very comfortable nine-wicket victory over the Netherlands at Old Trafford.
In a match reduced to 27 overs by early rain, Glen Chapple's side dismissed the visitors for 68 in 20.5 overs and knocked off the runs in only 16.3.
Opening batsman Stephen Moore continued his good form in one-day cricket this season by making 50 not out off 54 balls and Steven Croft was unbeaten on 14 when the winning single was taken.
Although the Netherlands were much weakened by injury and unavailability - two players were unable to get visas - the Dutch side's batting was still deeply disappointing given their impressive early-season form in this competition.
Spinners Gary Keedy and Stephen Parry did most of the damage - taking 3-15 and 3-13 respectively - while seamer Ajmal Shahzad finished with 2-7 from four overs.
Ex-Western Australia batsman Michael Swart was the first to be dismissed when he edged Shahzad to Paul Horton at slip in the sixth over of the innings. That began a disastrous passage of play for the Netherlands, who lost all their wickets for 46 runs in 15.3 overs.
Eric Szwarczynski also fell to Shahzad when he was athletically caught in the gully by Croft and the loss of two early wickets in conventional fashion seemed to cause panic in the other Dutch batsmen.
Peter Borren clipped Oliver Newby hard and straight to Ashwell Prince at midwicket without scoring and opener Wesley Barresi skied a slog off Keedy to mid-off where Croft took his second catch of the innings. Barresi top-scored with 20 and was one of only two Dutch batsmen to reach double figures.
The farcical nature of the innings continued when Daan van Bunge came down the wicket to Keedy but could only deflect the ball on to his stumps and Werner Coetsee was run out, attempting a second to Horton at deep midwicket
That left the visitors on 50 for six and the tail-end batsmen all found the accuracy and turn of spinners Keedy and Parry too testing a proposition on a slow wicket.
Tom de Grooth and Pieter Seelaar were both bowled by Parry, attempting attacking shots at a time when it might have been useful to bat out the overs.
The dangerous Mudassar Bukhari was superbly caught by Prince at slip to give Parry his third scalp and Keedy claimed the last wicket when Tim Gruijters was stumped by Cross.
This win means that Lancashire need only to beat Gloucestershire at Bristol next Sunday to book a place in the semi-finals and keep alive their hopes of winning a trophy this season.