Lancashire beat Northamptonshire by 45 runs (D/L) in RLC
England Lions seamer Saqib Mahmood became only the fourth Lancashire player to take six wickets in a List A innings and the first in 21 years as he set up a commanding Royal London one-day Cup win over Northamptonshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
Mahmood, 22, returned a career best six for 37 as the Steelbacks, invited to bat, were bowled out for 269 in 50 overs.
He then watched openers Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings hit 65 and 63 respectively on the way to 164 for two in the 29th over when rain arrived, with Lancashire winning by 45 runs on Duckworth Lewis Stern.
The Red Rose have now won two and lost two in the North Group.
Colin Croft, David Hughes and current coach Glen Chapple (twice) have all taken ‘six-fors' for Lancashire, the last being Chapple at Yorkshire in 1998.
Mahmood struck three times with the new ball to leave the score at 26 for three, so a 270 target was a triumph for a Northants side who have now won one, lost three.
They were boosted by half-centuries for Ricardo Vasconcelos (50), Rob Keogh and West Indies captain Jason Holder, who received treatment to his lower left leg early in his innings and later did not take the field.
Keogh’s unusual 66 off 97 balls did not include a four or six, while Holder hit seven fours and two sixes in 72 off 58 as he looked in no obvious discomfort.
They shared 89 inside 16 overs for the sixth wicket to recover from 103 for five in the 26th before former Red Rose all-rounder Luke Procter gave the visitors further impetus with a late 36.
Mahmood gave Lancashire the ideal start by bowling Josh Cobb.
He then had Richard Levi caught at deep square-leg and Alex Wakely brilliantly caught behind one-handed by Dane Vilas.
Vasconcelos and Keogh steadied with a 76-run fourth-wicket stand before Keogh and Holder united to back up fifties in Sunday’s home win over Warwickshire.
Holder hit sixes over mid-wicket either side of reaching 50 off 47 balls before falling to Mahmood trying to repeat the dose in the 45th over (221 for seven).
The catch was an outstanding relay effort on the mid-wicket boundary between Australian Glenn Maxwell and Rob Jones, the latter diving to complete the catch at the second attempt.
Maxwell then took two catches at the death, including Ben Sanderson running in from deep cover to hand Mahmood his sixth.
The early stages of Mahmood’s career have been beset by injuries, with his previous best of five for 60 coming in last year’s North v South series in Barbados.
In reply, Jennings and Hameed shared a measured opening stand of 130 inside 24 overs, only for the former to be run out by a direct hit from Saif Zaib at square-leg.
Jennings reached a run-a-ball fifty and Hameed’s came off 60 balls before Maxwell hit successive leg-side sixes off Zaib’s left-arm spin to move into double figures.
Hameed was caught behind off Procter’s seamers - 154 for two in the 29th over - before Vilas hit two boundaries in 10 off three balls immediately prior to the rain arriving. Maxwell was unbeaten on 20.
Lancashire's Saqib Mahmood
"That was a great day. It's probably not the way we wanted it to finish with the rain, but a win's a win.
"We wanted to bowl first knowing the rain's around and we could control the rate in the second innings, and I thought we did that.
"As a team, we played the game we wanted to play.
"I'm happy. The last couple of years I've just missed out with Lancs through injury, so I'm just trying to make up for the lost time.
"It's coming out well for me. If anything, I tried to not try too hard today. Maybe because I was a bit more relaxed, they came out that bit quicker for me. In the last couple of games, I tried too hard."
Northants captain Alex Wakely
"They bowled very well up front. Saqib bowled as good an opening spell as I've faced for a long time. He didn't give us anything and bowled straight with pace.
"We lost early wickets and were always trying to claw it back from there.
"We actually got a decent score on that wicket, but we lost a bowler in the process. Jason (Holder) has hurt himself. I don't know much about it, but he's sore around the back of his (left) leg.
"It was a bit of a precaution, and he didn't want to risk it. He's the West Indies captain, so we didn't want to push him too much on it.
"Him and Rob Keogh played nicely to get us back into it, but then we came out and didn't hit our straps with the ball. We bowled with width and got cut and pulled.
"We have to win every game now. It's a shame because we played brilliant cricket in our last game against Warwickshire. It's been a theme for us in the last two years. We've been so inconsistent."
Lancashire - Keaton Jennings, Haseeb Hameed, Steven Croft, Glenn Maxwell, Dane Vilas(c)(wk), Rob Jones, Josh Bohannon, Liam Hurt, Saqib Mahmood, Graham Onions, Matthew Parkinson
Northamptonshire - Richard Levi, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Josh Cobb, Alex Wakely(c), Adam Rossington(wk), Jason Holder, Rob Keogh, Luke Procter, Saif Zaib, Ben Sanderson, Blessing Muzarabani
©Cricket World 2019