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July 16, 2012
Lancashire 97 for 3 (Croft 45) beat Middlesex 97 for 8 (Parry 4-21) by seven wickets D/L
Lancashire completed a comfortable seven-wicket win over Middlesex at Old Trafford to round off a miserable night of Clydesdale Bank 40 action for the visitors, who were without Eoin Morgan due to travel problems.
Glen Chapple's side dragged themselves back into contention in Group A with their fourth win from six matches after restricting Middlesex to 97 for 8 in a match reduced by rain to 16-overs per side. Lancashire were then left to chase a further revised target of 97 off 15.
Lancashire's left-arm spinner Stephen Parry starred with career best figures of 4 for 21 from four overs before Steven Croft and Karl Brown, with 36 not out, anchored the chase with a third-wicket stand of 79 in 10 overs. Croft top-scored with 45 off 34 balls as the hosts moved to joint second with Middlesex on eight points having played one fewer match.
Middlesex's problems began before they had even taken the field because England one-day batsman Morgan failed to make it to Old Trafford in time for the start of the match after his train from London Euston had been cancelled. He had to take an alternative route via York but Ollie Rayner took his place when the toss was made at 4.20pm.
The match was reduced from a 40-over match to 32 to 22 to 18 and then 16 due to numerous rain showers. Having been invited to bat first, Middlesex had reached 4 for 0 from two and a half overs when play, having started at 6pm, was halted approximately 15 minutes later. When play finally resumed two hours later, only opener Dawid Malan adapted to the bowler-friendly conditions as he hit a season's best 48 off 36 balls, including two sixes off Glen Chapple and Ajmal Shahzad.
Parry had Joe Denly stumped by Gareth Cross and Paul Stirling caught behind down the leg-side to leave Middlesex 45 for 2 after nine overs. He returned to bowl the last over of the innings, bowling Rayner and having Jon Simpson caught at long-off before Gareth Berg was run out with the last ball as he went for two. Shahzad, Tom Smith and Gary Keedy also struck as only two batsmen reached double figures.
Lancashire made a shaky start to their chase by losing Stephen Moore caught at mid-on off Toby Roland-Jones. Smith was then brilliantly caught one-handed at mid-wicket by Berg off the bowling of Steven Crook.
But Croft and Brown batted with caution before putting their foot on the accelerator after further rain accounted for the loss of one over. Both hit sixes over long-on - off Middlesex's Tom Smith and Berg respectively - as the win was secured with 10 balls to spare.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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