Lightning suffer first Vitality Blast 2020 defeat in Nottingham
Liam Livingstone impressed with bat and ball on his return, but the Lightning are trumped by Joe Clarke's knock at Trent Bridge
All-rounder Liam Livingstone showed his class in a first Vitality Blast outing of the season, but the Lightning ended up with a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.
A destructive innings of 77 from Joe Clarke maintained the Outlaws’ unbeaten start to the competition and moved them ahead of Lancashire by two points.
The right-hander hit five sixes and seven fours to speed Notts towards their pursuit of 168, eventually achieved with 18 balls remaining.
Livingstone was the pick of the attack with his mixture of off and leg spinners, taking 2/13 off his four after a quickfire 33 in the first innings.
Lancashire had earlier made 167/5, with Steven Croft top-scoring for 37, with three other players also passing 30.
Alex Davies and Livingstone got Lancashire off to a blistering start after the visitors had been invited to bat first by Christian, the Notts captain. The opening three overs produced 38 runs, including a huge six over square leg by Livingstone.
Steven Mullaney needed two attempts to catch Davies at midwicket for 18 off Christian but the opener was soon back in the middle, acting as a runner for Keaton Jennings, who pulled up injured at the end of the eighth over.
Both Livingstone and Jennings then fell to Samit Patel, with each making batsman making 33. Ball’s well-judged boundary catch to dismiss Jennings reduced the Red Rose to 101/3 in the thirteenth over.
Croft hit Steven Mullaney over the ropes before falling in the penultimate over and Dane Vilas fell in the last, yorked by Luke Fletcher, but not before he added two sublime sixes, both hit over extra cover.
On a good batting strip, against a side chock-full of confidence in this format, the eventual target didn’t seem large enough and Notts proved it convincingly to win their eighth consecutive Blast game at Trent Bridge against Lancashire.
Clarke began this competition with an unbeaten century against Durham and set about the Lancashire attack after arriving at the crease in the first over, following Chris Nash’s cheap departure to Steven Croft, as Notts ended the powerplay on 74 for one.
Alex Hales was almost the silent partner, making just 19, as their second-wicket stand stretched to 82 from 42 balls, at which point Livingstone turned a sharp leg-spinner into the stumps of the former England international.
Having brought up his 50 from only 18 deliveries, with six fours and four sixes, Clarke cleared the ropes once more before hitting Livingstone into the hands of sub fielder Rob Jones.
Ben Duckett fell to Matt Parkinson for 18 but the hosts romped to victory thanks to more punishing batting, as Tom Moores and Dan Christian added 35 from only 21 balls to guarantee the win.
Moores hit three sixes in an unbeaten 31, while Christian finished on 20 not out from just 13 deliveries.
The Lightning travel to Emerald Headingley on Monday evening to take on Yorkshire Vikings, the start of four games inside the final week of Vitality Blast North Group matches.