Lamb five-wicket haul chops down Gloucestershire
A five-wicket haul by Danny Lamb led an excellent bowling effort by the Red Rose attack as Lancashire made it two wins from two games in the Royal London Cup after easing to a six-wicket victory over Gloucestershire at Bristol.
The home side were bowled out for 171 after stand-in skipper Tom Bailey won the toss and 47 by Keaton Jennings helped seal the win with more than six overs to spare.
Bailey, standing in for Dane Vilas as captain, took an early wicket when Ben Charlesworth-back in the Gloucestershire line-up following a shoulder injury-drove to Croft for 12 after Liam Hurt had earlier trapped George Hankins lbw for a duck with his fourth ball.
Lamb’s introduction into the attack came in an eventful 12th over with 14 runs scored and the bowler having Graeme van Buuren dropped twice, first at slip and then on the square leg boundary with the ball also knocked over the rope for six.
It was an over in complete contrast with what had gone before, as Gloucestershire had started slowly in the face of some accurate Red Rose bowling to reach 34-2 after 11 overs, and what came afterwards as Lamb struck in his second over when a leading edge by Tom Lace ballooned to Jack Morley at mid-off for 15.
The Lancashire all-rounder then made further inroads, finally having van Buuren caught by Steven Croft at gully for 17 and skipper Jack Taylor lbw for 4 in the same over to leave the hosts in even deeper trouble on 62-5.
Morley, having made his one-day debut at Sedbergh on Friday, struck with his first ball bowling new Gloucs signing Ben Wells for 2 with a delivery that turned appreciably to beat the batsman’s defensive push.
Six overs later Tom Smith drove too early at a nicely flighted delivery to give the left-arm spinner a return catch to depart for 6 with Gloucestershire on the ropes at 89-7 in the 29th over.
The home side revived their fortunes with a 69-run partnership between Matt Taylor and George Scott, the former hitting sixes off both Bailey and Hurt once the pair had initially steadied the innings.
Taylor’s second maximum brought up the 50 partnership off 77 balls in 42nd over before Scott’s patient 84-ball knock of 43 ended after he was superbly caught by a leaping George Lavelle behind the stumps to give Lamb a fourth wicket and halt the highest 8th wicket partnership by Gloucestershire against Lancashire in one-day matches.
Taylor, rapidly running out of both partners and overs, continued to attack by launching a third six over mid-wicket that also brought up his maiden one-day fifty off 62 balls but he was left unbeaten on 51 as Lamb bowled Josh Shaw for 2 to finish with one-day best figures of 5-30 and Bailey had Worrall caught at mid-off for 1 with Gloucestershire 171 all out from 48 overs.
Josh Bohannon replied with 24 of the 36 runs from the opening partnership with Jennings before cutting the first ball of the eighth over from Shaw to Scott at backward point.
Luke Wells hit five fours during his 34-ball stay of 31 to add 47 runs in partnership with Jennings before lofting Shaw to Smith at deep cover in the 16th over.
Jennings and Rob Jones progressed steadily towards the target, posting a fifty-partnership from 103 balls, before both fell in the space of four balls to give fast-medium seamer Shaw a four-wicket haul in his second List A outing.
Jennings, who had earlier enjoyed a rare 10-over stint with the ball that yielded just 31 runs, batted steadily to reach 47 before edging behind to wicketkeeper Wells and Jones was bowled round his legs for 21 with Lancashire 135-4 in the 34th over.
Croft (28 not out) and George Balderson (14 not out), yet another List A debutant this season, knocked off the 36 runs required with Croft pulling Shaw for a six before clinching victory with a second six off spin bowler Jack Taylor in the 44th over.
Lancashire have made the perfect start to the Royal London Cup and all-rounder Danny Lamb is aiming high.
"We have aspirations to win this competition this season,” he said.
“And this was a really good start for us against a useful Gloucestershire side.
“There are still some really top players to come back into the team after the Hundred is over and we have tremendous strength in depth.
“You saw that today, with everyone chipping in.
After a career-best with the bat at Sedbergh, Lamb did likewise with the ball today but was quick to point it was far from a one-man show.
“On a personal note, it was great to get a career-best with the ball after making my highest score with the bat on Friday. It's beginning to cost me a lot in beer!
“I thought we took made the most of the conditions, took wickets at the right time and kept up the pressure on Gloucestershire throughout.
“There were some really good contributions with the bat and we took the game away from them early on, which stopped them from building any pressure."
Lancashire next travel to Beckenham to play Kent in the Royal London Cup on Wednesday.
Photos: Luke Adams