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Lancashire spinners heap more gloom on Steelbacks

Matt Parkinson led a posse of Lancashire spinners Getty Images

Lancashire 124 for 2 (Davies 64*) beat Northamptonshire 123 for 9 (Levi 40, Parkinson 2-14)
Scorecard

Lancashire Lightning's spinners bowled well on a pitch being used for its third T20 game in a week to set up their side's very comfortable eight-wicket defeat of Northants Steelbacks in the Vitality Blast North Group match at Emirates Old Trafford.

Liam Livingstone's outfielders also rediscovered their best form as the visitors were limited to 123 for nine in their 20 overs, a target which Lancashire's batsmen overhauled with 23 balls to spare, Alex Davies making 64 not out, his second T20 fifty in consecutive innings.

Steelbacks now have three defeats in a row and are lodged at the foot of North Group, all of which left their coach, David Ripley, frustrated. "Richard Levi fell to a blinding catch but from then on I thought we were a bit naive," he said. "We should have plotted our way to 150 or 160 and that would have been competitive. Poor batting set us u to lose that game fairly comfortably.

We had two lads caught off long hops and that's poor execution but we were also too defensively minded. We needed to hit the balls into gaps and run better than we did; we needed a more positive intent. We weren't smart at the beginning, we weren't smart in the middle and we missed a big finish at the end."

The initial signs were good for Northants, who reached 62 for one off 5.5 overs with Richard Levi unbeaten on 40. Next ball, however, Jordan Clark clung on to a return catch blasted back at him by the South African and that reverse began a spell in which the visitors lost three wickets for six runs in 11 balls.

Josh Cobb and Richard Vasconcelos both fell to fine catches by Arron Lilley and Keaton Jennings respectively and none of the other Steelbacks batsmen could dominate a Lancashire attack monopolised by slow bowlers.

Apart from Levi, five batsmen reached double figures but no one made more than Seekkuge Prasanna who managed to garner 17 off 22 balls. All but seven of the 20 overs were bowled by spinners with the best analysis being Matt Parkinson's two for 14 off four overs.

Stephen Parry and Livingstone also bowled their full allocation, returning figures of 2 for 19 and 2 for 29 respectively. Lancashire's fielders supported the attack admirably, taking nine of the ten chances that were offered.

In contrast to the Lightning's performance against Worcestershire Rapids on Thursday, the catching in the deep was faultless and ensured that the Steelbacks innings never recovered the momentum initially established by Levi 21-ball onslaught.

Lancashire's pursuit of their modest target began badly when Livingstone was caught at the wicket off Prasanna for four but Lilley made a sprightly 23 off 14 balls before being caught by Levi at short third man off Graeme White.

The remainder of the innings belonged almost exclusively to Davies and Keaton Jennings who steered their side home with an unbroken partnership of 88 for the third wicket in exactly 12 overs. Davies was in particularly fine form, hitting three successive fours off White and reaching his fifty off 36 balls with half a dozen fours and one six.

Jennings is currently in fine form in all formats and supported his partner well by making 28 not out. The victory was Lancashire second in three matches but Northants are rooted to the foot of the table.