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Procter leads Lancashire home

Steven Croft

Steven Croft chipped in with a quickfire 60 as Lancashire successfully chased down a stiff target of 259 to triumph over Worcestershire

A maiden half-century for Luke Procter carried Lancashire to an entertaining four-wicket Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Worcestershire at Liverpool.

Procter, the 22-year-old coming to the end of his first season on the club’s professional staff, shared a crucial sixth-wicket partnership of 62 inside 11 overs with debutant Jordan Clark as they chased down 259.

And he and Stephen Parry, who hit the winning runs with five balls to spare, finished the job off.

Left-hander Procter top scored with 64 not out off 59 balls, including six fours and a six, to go alongside Steven Croft’s 60 off 35 balls.

The Group A clash looked to be going Worcestershire’s way after Alexei Kervezee’s county-best 111 off 101 balls had helped the visitors to a competitive 258 for six against a Lancashire side including only four first-team regulars.

Left-arm spinner Gary Keedy claimed season-best figures of 4-41 from his eight overs to keep the hosts in the game at the halfway stage.

But, having been 172 for three after 30 overs with Kervezee at the crease, the Royals could feasibly have posted 20 or so more than they did.

Kervezee, the 20-year-old right hander who hit 11 fours, was at his strongest making room to hit through and over the cover region.

Nobody else managed to better Daryl Mitchell’s 40 off 54 balls, although Vikram Solanki and James Cameron made valuable contributions in the twenties.

Kervezee and Mitchell shared 96 for the fourth wicket inside 29 overs.

Keedy had Solanki stumped and Shakib Al Hasan caught at mid-off, before bowling Mitchell and eventually capturing the key wicket of Kervezee, who holed out to long-off.

Steven Cheetham, recalled from a loan spell at Surrey, and Croft were the other wicket takers for Lancashire.

Imran Arif removed Paul Horton in the second over of the Lightning chase but Croft and Karl Brown, with 41, shared 89 in 11 overs for the second wicket.

Croft hit 10 fours and a pulled six. But he was one of three quick wickets to fall to take the score from 101 for one in the 13th over to 120 for four in the 18th.

He holed out to Jack Shantry off the left-arm spin of former Bangladesh captain Shakib, who also trapped Mark Chilton lbw.

Brown then reverse swept Moeen Ali’s off spin to Shantry at short third man.

Gareth Cross and Procter steadied the Lancashire ship somewhat with a 49-run partnership in eight overs for the fifth wicket before the former was caught in the deep off Moeen trying to hit his third six.

Procter and Clark then united, but the game remained in the balance with 19 needed off two overs.

A huge six from Procter over long-on off the bowling of Shantry proved to be a telling blow.

Moeen and Shakib finished with 2-29 and 2-40 from eight overs respectively.