Middlesex 257 (Robson 76) beat Lancashire 251 (Jones 72, Hollman 4-56) by six runs
Middlesex's young bowlers just about held their nerve to secure a six-run win over Lancashire in a magnificent Royal London Cup match at Emirates Old Trafford.
Defending 257, the visitors were indebted to 20-year-old leg spinner Luke Hollman, who took 4 for 56, but the visitors had to withstand a late assault from Danny Lamb, whose 21-ball 33 looked as though it might win the game until he was bowled by Ethan Bamber when four balls remained in the game.
Middlesex's total owed much to Sam Robson's 81-ball 76 and also to Martin Andersson's partnerships with tailenders Thilan Wallalawita and Bamber that saw 67 runs added for the last two wickets in less than ten overs
The visitors probably envisaged making an even bigger total when they were 80 for 1 in the 18th over but Stevie Eskinazi became the second of his side's batters after Josh de Caires to be caught by Lamb when he top-edged a rank full-toss from George Balderson to fine leg where the Lancashire all-rounder dived full length to clutch the ball in his right hand.
Eskinazi's departure for 45 was followed by that of the Middlesex skipper Peter Handscomb for 14 seven overs later and once again Lamb literally had a hand in things when he dived backwards from short fine-leg to take a one-handed snare off Jack Morley.
By that stage Robson had reached his fifty off 54 balls and the four-day opener continued to bat fluently despite injuring his groin and needing a runner. Robbie White was caught behind off leg-spinner Luke Wells for 18 and that wicket started a collapse that saw Middlesex decline from 154 for 3 to 190 for 8 in nine overs.
Three of the five wickets were taken in eight balls by Tom Bailey, who finished with 3 for 33 and was clearly the pick of his side's attack. Indeed Bailey was the only bowler to concede less than five runs an over and Wallalawita helped himself to two sixes and a couple of fours when Jack Morley and Liam Hurt's radar malfunctioned. Andersson ended the innings unbeaten on 42.
Lacashire's reply began badly as both Josh Bohannon and Wells fell to Bamber and James Harris for single-figure scores but Keaton Jennings and Rob Jones had put on 63 in some comfort before Jennings injured his calf when setting off to complete a leg bye.
Following treatment he was helped from the field in obvious pain but Jones and Steven Croft added a further 77 before Croft fell to Hollman for 41. Balderson then hit de Caires for two sixes over the short leg-side but both he and Jones were dismissed by Hollman, whose eighth over was crucial in deciding the outcome.
Jones was caught by de Caires at long-off for a career-best List A score of 72 but that only prompted Lamb's defiant assault that nearly brought Lancashire a famous victory. Jennings' injury prevented him coming out to bat when Lancashire's ninth wicket fell.