Nearly 15,000 cricket fans witnessed Lancashire Lightning’s romp to victory against a lacklustre Yorkshire Phoenix by seven wickets, with nearly seven overs to spare at Old Trafford.
Yorkshire were reduced to 25-5 after winning the toss and electing to bat, losing two wickets in the first over to Lightning’s opening bowler Glenn Chapple, including the wicket of New Zealand Captain Stephen Fleming.
Fleming’s woeful performance in the ‘Twenty20’ tournament continued as he was bowled out for a golden duck, caught after trying to flick the ball into the leg-side by Graeme Swann.
One quickly became two as Chapple struck again two balls later, this time removing Lumb, Chris Schofield taking the catch.
Chapple was eagerly supported by the ever-reliable Peter Martin, whose spell of three for 20 of his four overs – including two wickets in two balls – rocked Yorkshire’s foundations.
Martin claimed the prize scalp of the dangerous Indian batsman, Yuvraj Singh, who was beginning to run riot with three boundaries, but only contributed 13 to Yorkshire’s total before edging to Warren Hegg, who nearly dropped the ball, but was rescued by the ever-reliant Carl Hooper.
Hamilton and Wood both fell to Martin in consecutive balls.
Chapple claimed the most economical figures of the tournament so far, giving only 13 runs in his four overs, which included "a maiden": a treasure in the competition.
Carl Hooper chipped in with his off-spinners, pegging back any resistance and rising star, Sajid Mahmood, and John Wood contributed with one wicket each.
There were pockets of resistance in the Yorkshire squad, including 17 from Craig White, who smashed a long six, before being caught by Hegg, who took three catches, including an amazing, acrobatic, one-handed catch off Mahmood’s bowling, removing Phoenix wicket keeper, Richard Blakey.
Blakey hit 32 off 36 balls before trying to slog a short ball which found its way into the diving Lancashire Captain’s hand.
Gray and Silverwood added 13 runs a piece to take the score to 102 for eight, completing their allocated 20 overs. This is the second lowest score to be recorded in the tournament thus far.
Lancashire made the most of an easy target, playing the way people expected the ‘Twenty20’ tournament to be played.
Opening batsmen Mal Loye and Stuart Law played their shots and saw immediate rewards against Yorkshire’s pace attack of Ryan Sidebottom and Chris Silverwood.
Boundaries were aplenty in Sidebottom’s spell, a total of nine boundaries, including five boundaries off one over, smashed by Australian, Law, who scored 29, including six boundaries, before being caught by Captain Matthew Wood, trying to hit over mid-off.
Loye and Law added 62 for the first wicket off only six overs before Bresnan removed both openers, in similar fashion, but not before Loye had racked up a quick fire 45 off 34 balls, including four boundaries and three sixes, one was hit out of the grounds off a ball from Silverwood.
Loye’s consistent performances in Lancashire’s colours have brought him much acclaim; with him and Sutcliffe acting as the driving force in the team’s approach to the championship, with his rich form being carried over to the one-day format.
Loye’s performance was rewarded with the man of the match award.
Carl Hooper and Schofield completed the job with 41 balls to spare.
A much-needed victory secure – and although not a classic Roses clash – it was nice to see the two contesting in a match.
Both teams will have to battle hard to qualify for the competition’s semi-finals but Lancashire will be hoping for a repeat performance in the remaining matches and reclaim their status as one-day champions.