Rare win keeps Northants in last-eight hunt
Northamptonshire 200 for 8 (Levi 68, Parry 3-23) beat Lancashire 47 for 3 (Chambers 3-29) by 19 runs (D/L method)
Maurice Chambers produced a career-best haul as Northamptonshire kept alive their hopes of a place in the quarter-finals of the Royal London Cup with a 19-run Duckworth-Lewis win over struggling Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Chambers struck three times in the first six overs of the Lightning's pursuit of 201 in a 40-over game, leaving the score at 25 for 3, after rain had delayed the start of this Group A clash by two hours. The rain returned with Lancashire, who now cannot qualify for the last eight, at 47 for 3 after 10.1 overs and a long way off the pace in terms of D/L. Play did not restart.
This was only Northamptonshire's second win in seven in the competition, but it meant victory over Essex at home in their final group game next Thursday - coupled with other results going their way - would be enough for a top-four finish and progression. Bottom-placed Lancashire have now lost five out of seven group matches and all three of their home matches.
Northamptonshire were also thankful to South African overseas opener Richard Levi as his 68 off 43 balls, with 13 fours and a six, underpinned what looked only to be a fighting total at best. He reached 50 off 31, with 46 of those runs coming in boundaries as the Steelbacks notched 80 runs off the first 10 overs.
Lancashire left-arm spinner Stephen Parry, who has struggled for form in limited-overs cricket since returning from the World Twenty20 with England in late March, was the pick of their bowlers with a season's best 3 for 23 from eight.
Parry helped fashion an impressive recovery in tandem with Steven Croft's offspinners as Northamptonshire only scored 120 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the last 30 overs. Croft added 1 for 29 from his allocation of eight.
The visitors lost 3 for 11 inside five overs - two to Parry and one to Croft - as they slipped from 125 for 2 in the 21st. Parry, on England Lions duty earlier this week, had Kyle Coetzer caught at long-off and Adam Rossington caught at midwicket off a leading edge before Croft had Ben Duckett caught at short third man on the reverse sweep.
Parry had Rob Keogh caught and bowled as Northamptonshire struggled to up the rate again and lost three further wickets in the last 10 overs. Graeme White's 21 off 31 at least helped get them to 200, which proved to be enough thanks to Chambers. He had List A debutant Luis Reece caught at first slip in the fourth over before getting Karl Brown caught at short cover and Paul Horton, who had earlier elected to bowl, bowled off an inside edge with successive balls in the sixth.