Home Hotel Contact Shop Vacancies Concerts Dots Search Newsletter Ticket Ticket alternative Skip to main content

MATCH REPORT: Wood's last over six and Bruce fifty takes Lancashire to thrilling win

MATCH REPORT: Wood's last over six and Bruce fifty takes Lancashire to thrilling win

A six by Luke Wood off the penultimate ball won a pulsating Vitality Blast match for Lancashire Lightning by two wickets against Worcestershire Rapids in a thrilling and dramatic finale.

Wood and Tom Bruce needed 11 runs to win off the last over from Tom Taylor and had reduced that to six required from two balls, with Wood hammering the fifth ball over midwicket for six to clinch victory and extended the Lightning’s unbeaten home group record to 24 matches and keeps the side in second place in the group standings.

It was hard luck on Worcestershire, and Josh Cobb who top-scored with 74, as the visitors had contributed significantly to an enthralling contest where the result was in doubt until the end.

Bruce, who made exactly 50 off 36 balls, and Chris Green with a powerful 24 off 17 balls had been left with the task of scoring 53 from the final four overs and after Green departed to Cobb at long off Brookes for 24 off 17 balls, a brilliant cameo by Tom Hartley who launched his first two balls for six in making 18 off just 5 balls kept the Lightning in with a chance.

Hartley and Tom Aspinwall fell in consecutive balls to the excellent Matthew Waite (three for 19) at the end of the 19th over to bring Wood to the crease.

And he applied a coup de grace that brought the crowd to its feet and left Worcestershire shattered.

Lancashire had lost both Luke Wells via an edge behind off Taylor and Matty Hurst caught at midwicket off Waite for 1 to be on the back foot early at 27 for two at the start of the fourth over as they set out to chase their 182 target.

George Lavelle hit two sixes but was run out by a direct hit from sub fielder-and former Red Rose  teammate-Rob Jones for 20 as the Lightning ended the powerplay on 61 for three.

Keaton Jennings had hit seven fours and a six off Waite to keep the Lancashire reply coasting along nicely but was bowled by a googly from leg spinner Hayden Walsh for 41 off just 20 balls.

Bruce and Steven Croft then steered Lancashire to 87 for four at halfway, before Croft fell to a smart catch by Brett D’Oliveira at extra cover off Ethan Brookes for 16 leaving the Lightning needing 80 runs off 50 balls but with half the side gone.

And the visitors bowled and fielded well to build up the pressure with no boundary scored between the 11th and 15th overs. Bruce hit Walsh to the boundary to break the shackles but even so that still left 53 needed off the final 4 overs.

Green hit Taylor for six and four at the start of the 17th over and the late charge was on with Bruce superbly marshalling the run chase before Wood applied the finish.

At the start of the day, Cobb hit his highest Vitality Blast score since 2018 to help Worcestershire Rapids post a challenging 181 for four after being put into bat.

Lancashire made early inroads when a  pacey first over by Mahmood accounted for D’Oliveira who could only shovel the final delivery into the hands of wicketkeeper Hurst running to leg slip for 7.

Kashif Ali produced a wonderfully timed clip off his legs for six when Mahmood overpitched two overs later, but the bowler hit back next ball when Kashif dinked a short delivery into the hands of Croft at mid-off for 16 to have the Rapids on 27-2 in fourth over.

A steadying 57-run partnership for the third wicket between Cobb and Gareth Roderick included the latter ramping Mahmood from outside off stump for a spectacular six and greeting Hartley’s first T20 bowl of the season with another six over deep square leg.

But Roderick fell for 26 off 20 balls in a fairly tame manner when lbw sweeping at Green with Worcestershire 84 for three in 11th over.

But there was nothing tame about the remaining nine overs as Cobb went on the attack with great support from Adam Hose.

The pair added 78 runs in 7 overs, Cobb hitting his best T20 score this season and first half century in the competition for two years.

The former Northamptonshire batter reached his first fifty for his new side from 40 balls that included one six off Green over long leg plus 6 fours, and he added two more sixes off Aspinwall in the 16th over before caught at long off by Croft off Green for 74 off 53 balls at the end of the 18th over.

Hose helped add a flourish to the innings with an unbeaten 45 off 26 balls that saw the powerful right hander land sixes on both pavilion and The Point balconies within three balls of each other, and the visitors looked well set at the break after taking 50 from the final four overs to finish on 181 for four.

That very nearly proved to be enough, but Lancashire found a way to better it - just.

 “It’s a great feeling. I’m just pleased Woody was able to connect with that last one!” grinned a delighted Tom Bruce at the close.

“It was an outstanding run chase and to get over with one ball to spare showed great character from the guys.

“We knew it was a good wicket,” he added. They were 40 for two after the powerplay and we probably let them get away a bit to be chasing 180.

“But we knew we could do that as well.

“I think that’s the beauty of this team, no matter what position we are in we back ourselves to chase anything, even if we think they have got slightly too many.

“It’s a confidence game and in Twenty20 you want to build as much momentum as you can. It was nice to play today after the washout at Northamptonshire, and nice to get over the line.

“It holds us in good stead for the next four games.”

Bruce was naturally pleased to have been in runs after a lean time of late.

“I’ve had a few weeks off, played a couple of games for the Second XI and a game of club cricket, and got back in some form again,” he said.

“It was just nice to be back in the middle again, contribute, and get over the line.

“Cricket can be a brutal game. You can train as much as you like and do all the right things off the field. It doesn’t necessarily reap the rewards.

“It’s about sticking in there, stay positive and double down on your own skills and back the way you are doing things.

“I was disappointed to be dropped for a few games but at the same time it was warranted as well. You have to be performing to keep your spot.

“So to come back and contribute was really pleasing.”

Ken Grime
Photos: Luke Adams, Dan Adams

Search the site