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Lancs suffer second T20 loss

Lancs suffer second T20 loss

Durham Jets ran out easy winners by 6 wickets with 5 overs to spare to inflict a second NatWest T20 Blast defeat on Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford tonight.

After scoring 149-8 from their 20 overs, the Lightning were blown away by a brutal onslaught from the Phil Mustard who swung, quite literally, the game Durham’s way with a decisive innings of 46 from just 18 balls at the start of the Jets’ reply.  

Lancashire made three changes to the side from last Saturday’s opening game, with Jos Buttler returning from his stint in the IPL, overseas signing Martin Guptill making his Red Rose debut, and the in-form Kyle Jarvis coming into the starting eleven.

Durham, who also lost their opening game last week, made one change with veteran Paul Collingwood, who celebrated his fortieth birthday yesterday, replacing Calum MacLeod.

After the Jets won the toss and put Lancashire in to bat, a boundary each to Guptill and Alviro Petersen saw 19 runs arrive from the first two overs before Guptill cut Usman Arshad beautifully to third man for four at start of the third.

Arshad struck back with two wickets in two balls; Petersen caught on the square leg boundary by Coughlin for 8 followed by Brown, who nicked his first ball to wicketkeeper Phil Mustard, to leave the Lightning 24-2.

Buttler struck 10 runs off 8 balls, including a trademark ‘ramp’ to fine leg for four, but he then fell to a good catch by Collingwood running away from backward point to give Arshad his third wicket with the score on 46 in the 5th over.

That the Lightning were reasonably well-placed by the end of the six over powerplay on 57-3 was chiefly due to a blistering start by Guptill who by then had struck 37 off 20 balls with 7 fours.

The New Zealand international, playing six days after finishing in the IPL, reached his half-century from 34 balls to steer the Lightning to 79-3 at the halfway point of their innings.

Guptill pulled Collingwood for two successive fours early in the 11th over and greeted Scott Borthwick’s introduction into the attack by depositing the off spinner's first delivery in to the stands at long on.

That six also brought up the fifty partnership off 39 balls between two former Auckland Aces colleagues, following Steven Croft’s winter in New Zealand back in 2008/09, but they were parted soon afterwards after adding 60 in 8 overs. It was Guptill who went after falling to a brilliant catch on the mid-wicket boundary by Borthwick off Barry McCarthy after making a splendid 72 off 46 balls to leave the Lightning on 106-4 midway through the 13th over.

Lancashire’s innings faltered from this point as Durham fought back well, preventing any boundaries for 39 balls and the pressure they built brought a huge reward as three wickets fell in one over; Croft, driving at McCarthy, edged behind to Mustard for 21, Alex Davies top edged a drive to Mark Stoneman at mid-off two balls later and Arron Lilley was run out by a brilliant direct hit from Collingwood after risking a sharp single.

That setback left Lancashire on 121-7 after 17 overs, but Neil Wagner broke the shackles with a huge six off Paul Coughlin over mid-wicket before his attempt to repeat the shot off the next delivery instead found Graham Clark on the boundary.

From there Lancashire stuttered to 149-8 from their 20 overs.

The Durham reply was nothing short of sensational following an opening over onslaught from Phil Mustard that set the Jets on the road to victory.

Mustard, back at Emirates Old Trafford for the first time since his two match loan to Lancashire at the end of the 2015 season, hit an astonishing sequence of 4, 4, 6, 4, 4 from the first five deliveries of the innings from the unfortunate Lilley.

Mustard and Mark Stoneman then followed with a six apiece in the next over from Jarvis to reach an astonishing score of 43-0 after 2 overs with Mustard having scored 30 off 8 balls.

Stoneman fell to the next delivery, top edging Neil Wagner to Jarvis on the third man boundary for 13.

Mustard, who became the second Englishman to reach 3,000  runs in T20 behind Darren Stevens during his innings, departed for 46 from 18 balls from the final ball of the 6 over powerplay when he swung Edwards high to the square leg boundary to be caught by Guptill with the score 73-2.

Clark twice hit Parry over mid-wicket for six as the Jets’ hundred arrived in the 9th over before, having made 36 from 27 balls, his attempt to repeat the shot off Wagner instead went high to Davies at square leg but the visitors were still well on the road to victory by then at 108-3 in the 11th over.

Ryan Pringle was bowled by Edwards for 9 attempting a leg side ramp shot, but Michael Richardson, 30 not out, and Keaton Jennings, 6 not out, safely guided Durham to their target, reaching 150-4 with 5 overs to spare.

Unsurprisingly Steven Croft was not a happy captain afterwards.

“I’m very disappointed, to put it mildly,” he said. “There was no real fight, we were short with the bat and didn’t start well with the ball, so from there you’re not going to win too many games of T20.

“We were going quite nicely after the powerplay, but we lost wickets and didn’t build for the closing overs of the innings. We maybe could have gone harder in the middle but it was a disappointing middle and end, and we didn’t take any momentum into their innings with the ball.

“We didn’t start well with the ball and lost the game in that first six overs of their innings.

“Spin has played a massive part for us outside of the powerplay, but we had leaked too many runs in the first six overs and not got enough with the bat, so we were always going to fall short.

“Martin Guptill played a gem of an innings on his debut and it was a shame we didn’t bat around him more.

“With a shortish boundary on one side, 149 probably wasn’t enough. We didn’t have enough batsmen set to bat in the last five overs of the innings and we don’t want to be in that situation again.

“We knew Durham would come hard at us, which would give us an opportunity to get wickets, but we didn’t really look like taking a wicket in that first six overs.

“It’s something we’ve got to address and try and get right for next week.

“The most disappointing thing is the manner in which we’ve lost. There was no scrap and fight from us which is really disappointing.

“Last year we picked up towards the end of the group stages after losing early games, but we don’t want to be in that situation again.

Ken Grime

Photo of Martin Guptill by Simon Pendrigh

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