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Lancashire beaten in Vitality Blast semi-final

Lancashire beaten in Vitality Blast semi-final

Lancashire Lightning's Vitality Blast campaign came to an end with a 20-run defeat against Worcestershire Rapids in the semi-final at Edgbaston. 

England's Jos Buttler and Keaton Jennings were both included in a strong looking Lancashire line-up.

But it was England's Moeen Ali who hit 41 as the Rapids posted 169-6 from their 20 overs.

Ali then dismissed Buttler for just 12, taking two for 16 as Lightning fell short by 20 runs despite Jennings' unbeaten half-century.

In the first semi-final of the day, Lancashire won the toss and elected to bowl first.

The Rapids made a quickfire start as skipper Ali blasted 41 from just 21 balls to reach 70-1 in the eighth over. 

However Ali's dismissal to Zahir Khan, sparked three wickets in three deliveries, including a run out and the first of two for Matthew Parkinson. 

Struggling at 97-6 in the 14th over, Worcester pair Ben Cox (55*) and Ed Barnard (28*) put on an unbeaten stand of 72, to carry their side to 169.

Following Alex Davies' early run out for just nine, Liam Livingstone (30) and Arron Lilley (23) began to strike it well as Lancashire reached 64-1 inside seven overs.

However, both departed in quick succession and the wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. The required run rate began to increase with the score on 119-5 in the 15th over. 

Jennings was now set and began to up the scoring rate, but when Jordan Clark fell for three, and was swiftly followed by an injury hampered James Faulkner for two, Lancashire's race seemed to be run. 

The outstanding Pat Brown cleaned up the tail, claiming three wickets in the penultimate over to finish with figures of four for 21 and leaving the Red Rose requiring 29 from the final over.

There was still time for Jennings to bring up his 50 with a huge six down the ground, but it would be Worcestershire advancing into the final following a 20-run victory. 

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