Lancashire survive last-ball thriller
Lancashire 155 for 4 (Katich 62*) beat Leicestershire 151-7 (Smith 84, Kabir 3-26) by four runs
Lancashire ended a run of three games without a win in the Friends Life t20 by narrowly beating Leicestershire in a last-ball thriller at Old Trafford.
Michael Thornely hit the penultimate ball of the match for six over cow corner to leave five needed off the last before he was run out by wicketkeeper Gareth Cross trying, somewhat against the odds, to run all of them.
Lancashire have not been at their best with the bat throughout their North Division campaign and it was no different here.
Simon Katich's unbeaten 62 off 43 balls underpinned a total of 155 for four, but it had looked like being higher after they had made 43 from the first four overs. Leicestershire's spinners Jigar Naik and Shakib Al Hasan then barely conceded five runs an over between them and .
It looked like costing Lancashire for large parts of Leicestershire's reply, which was fired by a superb career best 84 off 66 balls from Greg Smith, who also scored a half-century in his only other appearance in this year's competition.
Smith helped to take the equation to 21 off the last two overs with six wickets in hand before Kabir Ali struck twice in the penultimate, including the dismissal of Smith, to leave 16 needed off the last.
Kabir, in his best match to date for Lancashire at the tail-end of his career, returned 3 for 26 from his four overs, but it remained touch and go until the final ball as the New Zealand seamer Mitchell McClenaghan conceded eleven off the last.
Earlier, Karl Brown had proved his power by slog-sweeping a huge six off left-arm seamer Rob Taylor which almost cleared one of the new two-tiered stands.
But Brown did not fill himself with glory later. Stephen Moore was run out following a mix-up with Brown, who later threw his wicket away when he advanced to Shakib and was stumped after an ugly swipe.
But Katich, the former Australia left-hander, continued his good form in this competition with five fours and a six over mid-wicket off Josh Cobb's part-time offspinners. He has scored 199 runs from five innings for Lancashire but his support has been inconsistent.
Despite losing three wickets inside the first 10 overs of their chase at a cost of 70, Leicestershire were favourites for long periods with Smith at the crease. But when he offered a sharp low chance to Ashwell Prince at mid-on off Ali in the penultimate over, their chances were already fading away.