Rafiq stars in tight Yorkshire win
Yorkshire 123 for 8 (Procter 3-22) beat Lancashire 122 for 6 (Rafiq 3-15) by two wickets
Yorkshire's batting line-up held off a Lancashire fightback to secure a tense two-wicket victory in their Friends Life t20 match at Old Trafford.
Chasing 123 to gain some revenge for their defeat in the County Championship match last month, Yorkshire reached their target with just two balls to spare but needed some inventive strokeplay from Azeem Rafiq to help them on their way. The offspinner hit two paddle shots to the boundary as the visitors scored the 10 runs they needed off the final over bowled by Tom Smith
Earlier in the innings, the Lancashire seamer had claimed the wickets of both openers to reduce the visitors to 34 for 2, and it needed a 37-run third-wicket stand between Adam Lyth and Antony McGrath to put Andrew Gale's side back on course for their second win in just over 24 hours.
But the loss of three wickets in nine balls derailed Yorkshire's response once more as seamer Luke Procter got rid of both McGrath for 28 and Gerard Brophy first ball. Although they were still reasonably placed on 75 for 5 in the 13th over, Yorkshire's batsmen almost succumbed to panic as Gary Ballance spooned Procter to Karl Brown and both Richard Pyrah and Adil Rashid were run out.
That set the scene for Rafiq's heroics, though, in his first game since being recalled from a loan spell at Derbyshire. Defeat was hard on Procter, who took three for 22 in his first 20-over spell.
Most of the honours in the first half of the game were claimed by the Yorkshire spinners, who bowled their 12 overs for a total of 59 runs. The pick of the White Rose slow bowlers was offspinner Rafiq, who conceded just 15 runs and bagged the wickets of Paul Horton, Gareth Cross and Jordan Clark.
The tone of Lancashire's innings was set as early as the second ball when Smith was trapped lbw attempting to reverse sweep Rashid. The Yorkshire spinners then consolidated their grip on the contest as skipper Steven Croft, Horton and Cross all perished in their bids to score quick runs.
After 10 overs Lancashire had stuttered to 52 for 4, and things got worse for the partisan crowd at Old Trafford as a misunderstanding between Moore and t20 debutant Karl Brown led to the run out of Moore for 34.
Lancashire were 62 for 6 when Moore was dismissed, but Brown and Procter's resourceful 43-ball 60-run partnership took the total to 122. Brown celebrated his t20 debut by making 34 not out and Procter was unbeaten on 25 off 17 balls. Rashid finished with two for 29 but Lancashire hit just six fours and two sixes in their allotted overs.