Davies dazzles as Lancashire spin Northants to Vitality Blast defeat
Alex Davies hit his second T20 half-century in three days after Lancashire’s spinners combined to put the skids under Northants with a combined 6-65 from 13 overs as the Lightning ran out easy eight-wicket winners at Emirates Old Trafford today.
After the Steelbacks had won the toss and opted to bat on the same pitch used for last week’s two T20 games, Toby Lester struck first with the wicket of Ben Duckett, caught behind by Dane Vilas, for 10 in the third over with the score 22-1.
Richard Levi and Josh Cobb then plundered 40 runs from the following 20 balls with Levi hitting the first six of the match over long-on.
But Jordan Clark broke their alliance with a quite brilliant reaction catch from the last ball of the 6 over powerplay.
Levi hammered the delivery back towards the bowler and Clark somehow juggled an outstanding reflex catch, one-handed, much to the disbelief of the batsman who just stood in shock for several moments at what had happened before trudging off.
That wicket was the first of three to fall for 6 runs in 11 balls as Northants slumped to 68-4.
Cobb departed for 12 to a nicely-judged catch right on the edge of the mid-wicket boundary by Arron Lilley off Matt Parkinson while Ricardo Vasconcelos hammered Stephen Parry straight to Keaton Jennings at short mid-wicket.
And Northants continued to lose wickets with Steven Crook hitting Livingstone to long-on where Steven Croft took an excellent catch diving forward and Alex Wakely holed out to Lilley at long-off from Parkinson for 12 at the start of the 15th over with Northants, having struck only one boundary since the 6th over, struggling on 92-6.
Seekkuge Prasanna struck a six despite Lilley’s valiant attempt to leap and knock the ball back into play at deep mid-wicket but the Sri Lankan fell to the following delivery after hitting a catch to Croft off Parry for 17.
Rory Kleinveldt fell to another outstanding catch by Lilley who, having run out of room on the long-on boundary, calmly caught the ball with his arms stretched out over the rope.
That left Northants on 111-8 and Parkinson caught Hutton off James Faulkner for 4 as Northants closed on a poor total of 123-9.
Parkinson did not conceded a boundary in taking 2-14 from his 4 overs while Parry took 2-19 and Livingstone 2-29 from their 4 over stints.
Lancashire made light work of reaching their target with Alex Davies hitting his highest T20 score of 64 not out following his unbeaten half-century at Derby two days earlier.
After Friday centurion Livingstone departed for 2, Lilley produced a nice cameo of 23 off 14 balls including a straight six off Kleinveldt, before being caught at short third man by Levi off White with the score 36-2 after one ball of the 5th over.
But Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings combined to steer the Lightning home with an 88-run partnership during the following 12 overs.
Davies danced down the pitch to loft Cobb for six and bring up the Lancashire 100 in the 14th over before going to his second T20 half century from 36 balls when stroking his sixth four from the following delivery.
And the pair calmly stroked their way to clinch victory with 23 balls to spare as Jennings, who finished unbeaten on 28, hit the winning run at the start of the 17th over.
That clinched Lancashire’s second win of the T20 campaign from 3 games and the Lightning’s next Vitality Blast match is at Emirates Old Trafford on Saturday (July 14) against Derbyshire Falcons, 2.30pm start.
“I think today’s win was as much as down to the bowlers as to me or anyone else,” said Alex Davies.
“To restrict them to 123 was a massive effort on that wicket. It’s a flat pitch that loads of runs have been scored on this last week.
“Pazza and Parky kept them to below twenty from their four overs which is exceptional. Livvy in tandem did a great job as well.
And Davies hailed the way the Lightning have bounced back from last Thursday’s opening match defeat.
“The last two games is how we want to go about our cricket,” he said.
“The first game we batted very well but we didn’t field well or bowl as well as we can. It was probably a good wake-up call against Worcester. Hopefully now we are back on it.
And Davies is determined to make up for not playing T20 cricket in 2017.
“I missed out last year through injury,” he said. “So I’m determined to really cash in and nail my place down.
And Davies was full of admiration for Liam Livingstone’s innings at Derby after the Lightning skipper smashed a century.
“I was just a spectator on Friday really,” he said. So today was nice to get a few. We were only chasing 124 so if someone bats through we win the game. I just tried to do that really.
“Friday was pretty special watching Livvy, there were times when I was a bit scared in case he hit it back at me, he was hitting it that hard. But in terms of watching it was special to watch yeah.
“He was on 93 and he said one more (six) and I’ll get a single. Then he got hit in the head next ball. I told him to ‘calm down now, knock it about’ and the next ball went for a six. There’s no telling him sometimes he just stands there and swings!
The back to back wins have got the Lightning campaign off and running and Davies added:
“We speak a lot about momentum. When you are playing well you want to keep playing the exact same way. We’ve had two wins on the spin now, in pretty similar fashion, and we’ve got to keep on doing that now. Carry on repeating it, day in, day out, and get through the group stage.
“On paper we’ve got a brilliant T20 team. But you don’t win any trophies on paper. You’ve got to go out there and show that we are a good team. We’ve done that in the last couple of games.
“Our spinners are exceptional, good death bowling with Jimmy Faulkner and we’ve got Crofty coming in at number eight sometimes, so that’s a lot of batting.
“There are young lads like Toby (Lester) coming through and these two games he’s been phenomenal with the ball.
“So things are looking good but we aren’t taking anything for granted and we will just keep trying to play well.”
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
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2018 Lancashire Lightning T20 fixtures:
- Derbyshire Falcons (Bails & Ales), Sat 14 July - TICKETS
- Yorkshire Vikings, Fri 20 July - TICKETS
- Leicestershire Foxes (Fancy Dress), Fri 3 Aug - TICKETS
- Durham Jets, Tue 7 Aug - TICKETS
- Birmingham Bears (Friday Night LIVE), Fri 10 Aug - TICKETS