Lancashire v Yorkshire, Flt20 North Group, Old Trafford July 24, 2013

Lancashire have power when its needed

Myles Hodgson at Old Trafford

Lancashire 127 for 2 (Moore 66*) beat Yorkshire 124 for 8 (Lyth 32, McClenaghan 2-19) by eight wickets

An electricity failure may not have been the perfect dress rehearsal for hosting the third Investec Ashes Test in a week's time but as omens go, an emphatic hammering of your fiercest rivals to all but secure your place in the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals was almost as good as it gets for Lancashire.

Dominant throughout in front of a partisan 12,151 crowd, Lancashire will qualify for the quarter-finals if Derbyshire fail to beat Leicestershire on Friday. It was the perfect send off, almost, for the refurbished Emirates Old Trafford before it is handed over to the ECB in preparation for potentially the decisive Test in the Ashes.

Yet only a week before the ground will hold 26,000 for the opening day of the Test, Lancashire suffered a 20-minute power cut at the Statham End, which wiped out electricity to the dressing rooms and two floodlights at that end of the ground, and was only resolved shortly before the start. It was perhaps fitting, given his recent form, that Jimmy Anderson should rectify the problem, although not England's premier swing bowler, but his namesake who performs as Lancashire's resident electrician.

That problem apart, which ground officials insisted would not have delayed the start, it was a triumphant evening for Lancashire. The temporary seating area, which will hold 9,000 for the Ashes, was utilised for the first time and they delivered one of their best displays of the season to all but end Yorkshire's slim qualification hopes and boost their own with a fourth win in their last five matches.

Having won the toss and decided to bat first, presumably to ensure Lancashire had the potentially more difficult task of batting under floodlights, Yorkshire's plan backfired spectacularly and they struggled to 124 for 8 on a sluggish pitch. Restricted to 23 for 2 at the end of the six Powerplay overs, they were unable to regain any momentum after being confronted by an electric display in the field from Lancashire.

Their only partnership of note, 33 off 27 balls between Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance, had limited effectiveness because of the athleticism of Lancashire's fielding display that frustrated their desire to show more aggression. Lyth fell to a catch at fine leg attempting to scoop Tom Smith and Ballance fell to a brilliant diving catch by Steven Croft, who ran in from the long-on boundary.

Attempting to gain momentum, Yorkshire suffered two run outs in a desperate chase of runs and recorded only one boundary in their final four overs, which provided a stark contrast to Lancashire's approach when they began their reply. From the moment Stephen Moore pulled two boundaries in the second over from Iain Wardlaw, the contest was all but over.

Moore and Smith added 88 in only 7.4 overs and although Lancashire lost two wickets in Azeem Rafiq's first over, Smith stumped as he advanced down the wicket for an aggressive 42 and Ashwell Prince brilliantly caught at cover by Lyth, any anxiety from the mainly Lancastrian crowd was brief with Moore's unbeaten 66 off 35 balls securing victory with nine overs remaining.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andy on July 25, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Jezc, we did try to sign Miller again for this tournament, but after first overcoming visa complications, he decided he would be too tired to play. I would also wonder whether the ECB's removal of participation from the Champions League had any effect; I have no idea what sort of payments would have been made to overseas players, but it is possible that having two players of any note would mean having to get to the final to break even.

    Whilst we certainly should not be competing with the bigger T20 competitions, it stands to reason that any player who has had success in one of the more lucrative tournaments is less likely to play over here for less money, hence it may be more profitable to stick with existing players with known, but perhaps not world-beating talent, rather than recruit less well known players for no guarantee of extra income. It certainly can work e.g. Azharullah, but I think we have gone down the conservative route this year.

  • colin on July 25, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Tom Smith seems to have come on leaps and bounds this year. An outside shout for an England 20/20 call up?

  • Jez on July 25, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    it was great to watch last night as a Lancs member but also disappointing that the crowd and the TV audience are basically watching a 2nd string Yorkshire side. No Root, Bairstow or Bresnan - I realise that England take priority but there has to be some way that the paying spectators get to see their teams best players. Over 12000 there last night paying over £20 each, added to the 17000 there were at Headingley makes the 20/20 a nice little earner for the counties when we have nice summer. However, the FL20/20 will never be a premier competition when counties are forced to play weakened sides. That said, I'm sure Yorkshire could have invested in a couple of decent overseas players to make them competitive

  • steven on July 25, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Utter Annihilation. But it was a Yorkshire team missing several key players so unsure what to make of this performance. After Headingley I bemoaned the fact that I thought Yorkshire's fielding was 10 runs better than Lancs Happy to say that was nowhere near the case last night. Also surprised the "aggressive captain" Rafiq was so scared to bring himself on early and only made an appearance when it was too late as he could have caused damage early. Kerrigan's limited overs bowling has improved out of sight these last few weeks and I have been impressed by Kabir Ali's bowling the last couple of weeks too. Here's hoping he stays fit. Finally great to see the best limited overs opening partnership Lancs have had for a while firing again. Brilliant to watch Stephen Moore more more and Top Tier Tommy firing on all cylinders again.

  • No featured comments at the moment.