Lancs keep pressure on with Hants win
Lancashire 261 for 9 (Brown 66, Croft 65, Moore 51, Mascarenhas 5-42) beat Hampshire 256 for 8 (McKenzie 65, Lilley 3-37, Kabir 3-63) by five runs
Lancashire maintained the pressure on Group B leaders Hampshire by beating them in a Yorkshire Bank 40 thriller at Old Trafford. The Lightning gained revenge for a Twenty20 quarter-final defeat by the Royals earlier this month with a five-run win that takes them within a point of the group pace-setters ahead of Monday's final round of fixtures.
A win for Hampshire away at Derbyshire would guarantee the defending champions a last-four place, but Lancashire stand to benefit from any slip-up if they beat Essex, who also remain in the hunt, at Old Trafford.
Lancashire, who won the toss, put early pressure on under-strength Hampshire with a total of 261 for 9, built around half-centuries for Karl Brown, Steven Croft and opener Stephen Moore, who made scores of 66, 65 and 51 respectively. Offspinner Arron Lilley and Kabir Ali both took three wickets in Hampshire's chase, including Ali defending 12 off the last over.
It was a spirited performance from Hampshire, who were without four key players to international commitments. Michael Carberry, James Vince and Danny Briggs are all with the England Lions and Sohail Tanvir with Pakistan in Zimbabwe.
Dimitri Mascarenhas took his best List A figures in more than 11 years - 5 for 42 - and 16-year-old off-spinner Brad Taylor returned 2 for 50. Taylor struck with his third ball on his 40-over debut when he had Moore caught behind. Brown and Croft shared a crucial 95-run stand for the fifth wicket to improve Lancashire's score from 127 for 4 in the 20th over.
Hampshire were behind the rate for the majority of their innings on a slow pitch even though they managed to keep wickets in hand. They needed 100 with 10 overs left and key men Neil McKenzie and Sean Ervine at the crease.
They had shared 72 inside 10 overs for the fourth wicket, with McKenzie hitting 65 off 54 balls and Ervine 43 off 36. When McKenzie fell stumped to Lilley as the first of two wickets in two balls in the 35th over, Hampshire looked done. Liam Dawson followed to leave the score at 200 for 5.
But Ervine kept them in touch before falling caught off an Ali full toss with the first ball of the 38th as the scored slipped to 228 for 6.
Some impressive hitting from Adam Wheater and Mascarenhas took the equation down to 22 off the last two overs and 12 off the last before they also fell caught off Ali full tosses. Victory was Lancashire's sixth in a row.