Lancashire lose to Durham by 74 runs
Lancashire’s 200th T20 game became one to forget as the Lightning suffered a top order batting collapse to lose this Vitality Blast match by 74 runs against Durham.
After the visitors had posted 152-5 the Red Rose were stunned to find themselves 9-4 after two overs and there was no way back from that point as Durham maintained their stranglehold on the game.
Alex Davies departed in the first over, caught at mid-off by Paul Coughlin, having twice cut Liam Trevaskis for four but worse-from a Lightning viewpoint-swiftly followed.
The second over was sensational as pace bowler Matthew Potts took three wickets to have Lancashire tottering on 9-4.
Steven Croft was the first to depart, caught at short mid-wicket attempting to pull but with the bat flying out of his grasp. Dane Vilas followed lbw three balls later and Rob Jones was bowled first ball by a terrific delivery.
Liam Livingstone responded with consecutive sixes off Paul Coughlin but the bowler exacted immediate revenge by bowling the Red Rose batsman for 15 from the following ball.
The wicket prompted some angry exchanges on the field, with the umpires imposing a five-run penalty against Lancashire that saw Durham’s total increased to 157.
Scott Steel then added to the hosts’ woes with two wickets in one cover, George Lavelle caught sweeping for 12 and Luke Wood bowled by a sharply turning delivery to leave the score on 48-7 midway through the 8th over.
The lower order held on until the end of the 15th over with Danny Lamb finishing unbeaten on 29 but Lancashire’s 83 all out is their lowest total in T20 cricket.
Earlier visiting captain Rimmington opted to bat first after winning the toss but Durham were in early trouble after losing three wickets in the powerplay.
A wonderful one-handed catch at mid-on by Dane Vilas sent back Graham Clark for 12 the ball after the batsman had pulled Luke Wood for six in the third over.
Ben Raine continued the attack with a six that just made it over the mid-wicket boundary and the head of the waiting fielder, but he was not so fortunate in the following over when hitting Danny Lamb high to Livingstone at deep mid-wicket.
David Bedingham then pulled Saqib Mahmood into the waiting hands of Rob Jones at mid-wicket for 2 to leave Durham on 47-3 in the 6th over.
That forced Lees into the role of anchoring the innings as the Lancashire spinners started to exert a stranglehold through the middle overs, the visitors reaching the halfway stage on 75-3.
After seven overs without a boundary Lees and Farhaan Behardien both found the fence in the 13th over, Lees going to his half century from 44 balls. But having contributed 26 to a partnership of 61, Behardien holed out to Steven Croft at deep mid-wicket off Parkinson attempting to force the pace of the scoring.
Brydon Carse did succeed to quickly accelerate matters with a six and four to the short boundary in the 17th over before finding Jones at long-on off the bowling of Wood for 22 from the last ball of the 19th over.
Lees finished unbeaten on 67 after facing 60 balls and Durham’s total proved to be far too good on the day.
Lancashire face Leicestershire in the final group game at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday, 1pm start.
Photos: Barry Mitchell, Getty Images