Lancashire beaten in final over at Headingley
Lancashire’s run of three victories against Yorkshire in short-form Roses games came to an end at Headingley on Friday evening when Steven Croft’s team lost by five runs to their keenest rivals, a result that leaves the Red Rose team probably needing to win all their NatWest Blast T20 matches this season if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Chasing 142 to win Lancashire were moderately placed on 68-3 going into the vital eleventh over. Then Liam LIvingstone, who whacked a rapid fifty in the game at Emirates Old Trafford hit three sixes off Carver’s first three balls. However both Croft and Livingstone perished in the deep for five and 36 respectively when trying to repeat the punishment and the Red rose suffered because they had no batsmen set at the wicket in the concluding stages of the game.
Luke Procter made 16 and Stephen Parry, 15, but Parry was the last man out when he edged Steve Patterson to Andrew Hodd off the fourth ball of the 18th over, the match having been reduced by earlier rain. Lancashire were therefore bowled out for 136 with Steve Patterson taking 3-23.
Yorkshire’s innings had got off to a good start with 29 runs coming off the first two overs. Nathan Buck struck back, however, when he dismissed for Adam Lyth for 23 and Alex Lees for five in the space of four balls in the fourth over, Luke Procter and Liam Livingstone taking the catches at mid on and point respectively.
That began a period in which Lancashire’s bowlers imposed a grip on the run rate and Yorkshire had only reached 51 for two after seven overs. Indeed no boundaries were scored for 35 balls before Jack Leaning hit Steven Croft for four and followed it in the next over with a six off Stephen Parry.
Despite these peccadilloes, Lancashire’s bowlers stuck to their disciplines for the rest of the innings and the catching in the deep was outstanding. Most of the ground fielding was sound and some of it was brilliant.
Wickets fell regularly in the second half of the 18-over innings although Leaning made 29 and Williamson, having waited 16 balls to hit his first boundary, then made 28 off 22 balls before being bowled by Parry for 28.
Buck and George Edwards were the chief beneficiaries of Yorkshire’s desperation to increase the scoring rate later in the innings. Buck removed Gary Ballance for 12 while Edwards removed both Tim Bresnan and Andrew Hodd courtesy of fine catches at long off by Jordan Clark.
Buch finished with 3-25 from his four overs and Edwards with 2-24. Yorkshire’s total of 141 for seven was generally reckoned to be respectable if not outstanding.
Reviewing that vital eleventh over, Steven Croft said: “Sometimes one big over changes it. We thought that he’d gone for 19 runs off four balls, why not go again? We thought that was the end to go, the other end was a bit too big to clear the rope.
“The over got our innings going really and it was a shame we lost those two wickets. With Liam there we would have still been in with a chance but with no batters who were set there at the end it was a tough ask.
“There were some good parts to the game and some bad parts. It’s frustrating that we can’t string two wickets together really, especially with our record in the competition and it’s something we have to address. We need to win every game now but we know we’re good when we have our backs against the wall.