Lancashire hand Unicorns nine-wicket thrashing
Lancashire 144 for 1 beat Unicorns 143 by nine wickets
Lancashire Lightning claimed their third win in this season's Clydesdale Bank 40 competition after thrashing the Unicorns by nine wickets at Old Trafford. Having lost four of their opening six Group A matches, coach Peter Moores gave Luke Procter, Karl Brown, Gareth Cross and Gary Keedy their first 40-over outing of the summer.
Unicorns captain Keith Parsons elected to bat but his troops only managed to post 143 all out from just under 40 overs. Parsons and former Glamorgan batsman Michael O'Shea hit 27 apiece, Parsons off 57 balls and O'Shea off 37. They registered 45 runs in 11 overs for the fourth wicket but nobody else made it beyond Neil Saker's 20. Sajid Mahmood, Kyle Hogg, Keedy, and Stephen Parry all took two wickets for Lancashire. England Lions left-arm spinner Parry was the pick with 2 for 18 from eight overs.
Lancashire opener Brown then hit a career best 65 not out off 80 balls, including five fours and two sixes. He shared an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 99 inside 22 overs with Steven Croft to complete the win with 80 balls to spare.
Unicorns opener Chris Murtagh had hit two boundaries off Hogg in the first over before he clipped the Red Rose seamer to Daren Powell at mid-on in the third. Wicketkeeper Josh Knappett was caught at first slip by captain Paul Horton in the fifth over to hand Hogg his second wicket before Jackson Thompson was run out by a combination of Procter and Hogg two balls later.
Parsons and O'Shea started the recovery from 18 for 3 but nobody helped out until a ninth wicket stand between Saker and Chris Brown. O'Shea was caught by Keedy off Mahmood in the 16th over, an identical dismissal to that of Murtagh, before Parry had Nick Hancock caught behind by Cross to leave the score at 64 for 5 in the 17th.
Keedy bowled Ed Young in the 24th and Parry, who struck in his first over, had Parsons caught behind in the 25th to reduce the visitors to 85 for 7. Keedy bowled Glen Querl with only eight more runs added to the total before Saker and former Lancashire second XI offspinner Brown (19) put on 44 in 11 overs. Brown was stumped by Cross off the medium pace of Procter before Mahmood forced Saker to chop on in the last over.
Stephen Moore hit five boundaries in a swift 21 off 12 balls before being caught behind down the leg side by Knappett off the medium pace of Querl with the score at 45 in the sixth over of the chase. But Brown and Croft united to complete the win with ease.
Brown launched the left arm spin of Young over long on for six in the 18th over and the 22-year-old reached his 50 in identical fashion off his namesake. He had faced 62 balls. A wide from Brown in the 27th over completed the win. Croft finished 39 not out off 68 balls. The result means that Lancashire leapfrog the Unicorns, who have now lost three of their six matches, in the Group A table.