RESULT
North Group (D/N), Manchester, May 30, 2024, Vitality Blast
(8/20 ov, T:76) 76/1

Lancashire won by 9 wickets (with 72 balls remaining)

Report

Aspinwall's 4 for 18 sets Durham up before Wells knocks them down

Debutant stars as Lancashire roll Durham for 75 before chasing the runs in just eight overs

Luke Wells climbs into a shot, Lancashire vs Leicestershire, Vitality Blast, Old Trafford, May 25, 2023

Luke Wells struck nine boundaries, including three sixes  •  Getty Images

Lancashire 76 for 1 (Wells 49*) beat Durham 75 (Aspinwall 4-18, Blatherwick 3-14) by nine wickets
Tom Aspinwall celebrated his T20 debut by taking 4 for 18 as Lancashire annihilated Durham by nine wickets in their opening Vitality Blast match at Emirates Old Trafford.
But Lancashire had to share the plaudits with Jack Blatherwick, who picked up 3 for 14, as Steven Croft's side put their Championship woes behind them to chase down the visitors' paltry 75 in exactly eight overs.
And 39-year-old Croft, who was skippering the side in the absence of back spasm victim Keaton Jennings, also got in on the act by taking a brilliant running catch to remove Matthew Potts off Blatherwick, the captain sprinting back some 40 yards from mid-off to dive full length, grab the ball in both hands and bring the home supporters to their feet.
As things turned out, Potts' 15 was Durham's highest score, and the visitors' total proved no sort of target for Lancashire's batters, Luke Wells making 49 not out to complete the hammering
Having been asked to bat first on a pitch of some variable bounce, Durham lost a quartet of top-order batters in their first six overs and were only 31 for 4 at the end of their powerplay.
Alex Lees skied Luke Wood to Aspinwall at short fine-leg, Ollie Robinson was bowled by Chris Green, one of five Lancashire T20 debutants, and Aspinwall's first short-form delivery was pulled to Green at midwicket by Graham Clark.
Jack Blatherwick then dived forward to take an outstanding caught and bowled off Ben Raine, whose 12 runs consisted solely of boundaries. But much worse was to follow in the next over when Aspinwall removed Ashton Turner, caught by Croft at mid-off for one, and bowled Michael Jones with a glorious first-ball yorker to leave the visitors' innings in apparent ruins on 31 for six.
In his next over, Aspinwall removed Ackermann, who skied a catch to Tom Bruce at backward point, but it was left to Blatherwick to take the eighth and ninth wickets, the first thanks to that catch from Croft, which elicited an unprecedented round of applause from the press box, and the second thanks to a more conventional snare at third man by Green, which saw the end of Nathan Sowter for 1.
Ben Dwarshuis and Callum Parkinson gave Durham's innings a patina of respectability with a last-wicket stand of 19 but Wood ended that entertainment when he had Dwarshuis caught at point by Bruce of 13, one of four double-figure scores in the visitors' effort.
By contrast to Durham, Lancashire scored 57 for 1 in their powerplay overs, the only batter dismissed being Josh Bohannon for two when he chipped Parkinson's first ball to Dwarshuis at backward point.
The remainder of the home side's innings was dominated by the power of Wells, who clubbed three huge sixes in his 25-ball innings, and the class of George Bell, who cruised to 22 not out with strokes of unmistakable quality.
The game ended after barely 90 minutes cricket, making it a memorable evening for Croft, who was playing his 239th T20 match in his 19th season as a professional.

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Lancashire Innings
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Vitality Blast

North Group
TEAMMWLPTNRR
LANCS752101.465
BEARS64280.450
LEICS74380.337
NHNTS64280.223
DURH7337-0.960
DERBS73460.311
YORKS63360.230
WORCS7254-0.472
NOTTS7153-1.841
South Group
TEAMMWLPTNRR
SOM752101.654
SUR64190.841
SUSS64280.405
ESSEX6336-0.291
HANTS6226-0.466
GLOUC62350.145
GLAM6235-0.986
KENT62440.028
MIDDX7153-2.153