Lancashire v Essex, CB40 Group A, Old Trafford May 20, 2012

Napier blast not enough for Essex

Lancashire 258 for 9 (Moore 63, Masters 4-41) Essex 230 (Napier 51) by 28 runs

Lancashire survived a late onslaught from Graham Napier to secure a 28-run win over Essex at Old Trafford. The result leaves Essex still looking for their first win in the competition, while Lancashire have now won their opening two matches.

Stephen Moore, Steven Croft and Paul Horton all hit half-centuries as Lancashire posted 258 for 9 and Essex looked in trouble on 139 for 6 in the 28th over in reply before Napier smashed 51 in just 25 balls in a quick-fire 68-run partnership with Greg Smith to give them a fighting chance.

Once Napier holed out to a brilliant catch from Croft, Smith continued the fightback with 44 from 40 deliveries. But, in the end, Essex fell short as they were bowled out for 230 with 15 balls left, Lightning spinner Gary Keedy claiming three for 49.

Moore and Croft gave Lancashire a lightning start after winning the toss. They both brought up their half-centuries at faster than a run-a-ball, with Moore smashing a six off Tymal Mills to bring up their 100 partnership off 77 deliveries. Tom Craddock ended the 111-run stand when Moore was caught at cover by Smith for his 62 which came off just 50 deliveries.

David Masters then struck twice in an over. First, Croft was trapped lbw for 53 and then Karl Brown chipped the ball to Mark Pettini for 15 as Lancashire slumped from 130 for 1 to 148 for 4. Horton, however, led the rebuilding with 54 from 53 balls.

Lancashire continued to lose wickets regularly, with Masters finishing with 4 for 41 by adding the scalps of Stephen Parry and Horton and Napier seeing off Sajid Mahmood as he claimed 2 for 49.

Alviro Petersen and Pettini made a bright start for Essex until Ajmal Shahzad claimed his first wicket at Old Trafford as a Lancashire player by bowling Petersen for 24. Pettini, who was dropped by Horton on nine, added just eight more as Parry took a difficult catch.

After Tom Westley was involved in a mix up which saw Adam Wheater run out for a duck, he put on 56 with James Foster to keep Essex in the game before being caught on the boundary by Mahmood for 33.

Foster made 41 before being bowled by Keedy, and when Michael Comber was run out for a duck two overs later, the game looked over. But Napier and Smith ensured Lancashire were tested to the end, with Mahmood suffering the brunt of their attack as his eight overs went for 60 runs.