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2019 in review: May

2019 in review: May

We continue our look back over 2019 with a visit to the Royal London One-Day Cup knockout stages and three more Specsavers County Championship matches

After a strong end to April, the Red Rose began May with victory over Derbyshire Falcons which would prove pivotal in the race for Royal London One-Day Cup knockout spots.

Despite a two-hour rain delay reducing the match to 38 overs each, Lancashire took it in their stride as they produced a convincing 30-run victory at Emirates Old Trafford.

Keaton Jennings led the way for the batters as he hit 84 runs off 88 balls, his third half-century of the competition in seven matches.

Owing to the mid-season departure of Glenn Maxwell to Australia’s pre-ICC Cricket World Cup training camp, fellow Aussie batsman Jake Lehmann made his Red Rose debut and finished unbeaten on 77 to anchor his new side to a total of 239/6.

After losing Liam Hurt to injury during their innings, a dreadful-looking knee injury from which he would thankfully return later in the season, Steven Croft took the chance to impress with the ball as Derbyshire struggled to get on top of the rate.

Croft’s seven overs cost just 20 with two wickets, including key man Billy Godleman, as the Falcons failed to get close despite late cameos from Anuj Dal and Harvey Hosein.

The victory sent the Red Rose to second in the group on ten points but a DLS defeat to Warwickshire at Edgbaston meant Glen Chapple’s side would need a favour from either Yorkshire or the weather to progress ahead of Durham.

Already out of the competition, the White Rose named a young squad for the Durham clash at Headingley but after a strong start from the North East outfit, rain intervened and the game finished as a draw, sending Lancashire through to a quarter-final against Middlesex at Lord’s.

And it was again the turn of Saqib Mahmood to shine in the competition, making the national selectors sit up and take notice as he took four wickets to help Lancashire progress.

Mahmood and the bowlers were given 304 to defend after Keaton Jennings’ composed 96 was backed up by Steven Croft (68), captain Dane Vilas (70*) and a quickfire 29 from left-hander Lehmann, and the Red Rose had one foot in the final with Middlesex reeling on 24/5 in reply.

A sensational century from James Harris in a 197-run partnership with John Simpson put them in with a chance of the most remarkable of comebacks, but Vilas’s side closed it out to seal a semi-final against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl two days later.

Jennings was again the top-scorer, rounding off a profitable competition for him, and Lehmann added 62, but a total of 241 in 47.4 always looked difficult to defend on the South Coast.

Mahmood was in the early wickets again, taking three in his first four overs, but a big fourth wicket partnership between James Vince and Rilee Roussow put the hosts back in control and they progressed with an over to spare.

Putting the disappointment of not returning to Lord’s for the final behind them, Dane Vilas and his men put their focus back into the Specsavers County Championship with a ten-wicket victory over Northamptonshire.

Lancashire bowled their opponents all out for 230 and 200, underpinned by consecutive five-wicket hauls from Richard Gleeson against the Club he departed for Emirates Old Trafford.

Scores of 97 for Keaton Jennings and Vilas were the bedrock of a 415-run first innings which left Lancashire with the simple task of knocking 17 off to take victory.

Worcestershire were next up and yet another remarkable bowling performance was served up, with James Anderson and Graham Onions reducing the visitors to 38/7 in the first innings with a high-class spell of seam bowling.

They recovered to make 172 and put Lancashire back under pressure with early wickets of their own before Vilas and Liam Livingstone steered their side to a 29-run lead on first innings.

It was Gleeson’s turn to do the damage in the second innings, taking yet another five-wicket haul, and a composed Vilas partnered with Rob Jones to take Lancashire to victory after being 32/4.

They closed out the month with a draw against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, a match which will be better remembered by the freak storm which removed the covers after Day One.

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