<
>

Stand-in captain D'Oliveira claims Rapids' last-over victory

Worcestershire brought ultimate disappointment for Old Trafford fans Getty Images

Worcestershire 190 for 5 (Clarke 42, Ferguson 35, D'Oliveira 37*) beat Lancashire 188 for 6 (Jennings 50, Livingstone 35) by five wickets
Scorecard

Worcestershire Rapids got their 2018 Vitality Blast campaign off to a fine start with a five-wicket victory over Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.

Needing 189 to take the points, the Rapids won with only one ball to spare when Ed Barnard cover-drove Jordan Clark for four.

However, the victory was particularly sweet for Rapids' skipper Brett DOliveira, who made off 37 not out off 23 balls and whose 67 run-stand with Ross Whiteley did as much as anything to win the game. Whiteley was caught by Arron Lilley for 28 in the last over to raise Lancashire's hopes but Barnard's fearless blow settled matters.

Worcestershire's innings had got off to an excellent start, 70 runs being scored in the six Powerplay overs, 20 more than Lancashire had managed in the same period. The only wicket to fall was that of Martin Guptill for 19, caught at mid on by Clark off Joe Mennie but Joe Clarke was given a life by Stephen Parry at mid on when he had made 11 and later another by Mennie at backward point on 40.

That cost only two runs as the Worcestershire opener was bowled reverse sweeping Faulkner when he had made a fine 42 off 24 balls. And Lancashire's hopes were further boosted when Callum Ferguson was caught in the deep by Clark off Parry for a 21-ball 35 and yet again when Clark bowled Ben Cox for 19.

Indeed, the Rapids needed 64 runs off the last six overs and were thus grateful when D'Oliveira took 15 runs off Mennie's next six deliveries. The runs required for victory had been reduced to 43 off the last four overs and Worcestershire's victory seemed far more probable when 15 runs came off the 18th over. bowled by Parkinson, in which Steven Croft dropped D'Oliveira at deep midwicket on 32.

Whiteley's six in the next over almost saw the visitors home and seven runs were needed off the final six balls of the innings which were bowled by Clark, the only Lancashire bowler to take more than one wicket.

Much earlier in the evening, Lancashire's innings began quietly as Liam Livingstone and Alex Davies scored only 24 runs off the first four overs before Livingstone whacked four leg-side sixes in the next couple of overs, two of them off successive balls from Pat Brown.

However, Lancashire's skipper was caught at deep square leg by Barnard off Daryl Mitchell for 35 when attempting to hit a fifth maximum and Worcestershire's talisman then caught Davies at long-on three balls later when the Lightning opener chanced his arm against D'Oliveira's first ball of the innings.

Davies' departure for 20 brought two new batsmen together and Lilley's third-wicket stand with Keaton Jennings began in circumspect fashion. But the pair still brought up their side's hundred in the 13th over, only for Lilley to be caught at long on by Brown off the spin of George Rhodes immediately that mark had been reached.

Dane Vilas then put on 28 in only 2.3 overs with Jennings before becoming the fourth batsman caught in the deep when he smacked Rhodes to Guptill and departed for a nine-ball 16. Jennings, meanwhile, reached his fifty off 32 balls having hit three fours and two sixes.

But the England opener lost his middle stump to the next ball he received, thereby becoming Luke Wood's first wicket for Worcestershire since his loan move from Nottinghamshire.

James Faulkner could make only four on his return to Lancashire but Clark and Croft ensured the home side reached what seemed to be a defendable 188 for six off their 20 overs, Clark making 25 not out off 13 balls. The most successful Worcestershire bowler was Rhodes, who took 2 for 27; the most economical was Mitchell, who conceded 24 runs from his three overs.