Lancashire beat Northamptonshire to win T20 Blast

Lancashire celebrate victory in the NatWest T20 Blast 2015
Lancashire celebrate victory in the NatWest T20 Blast 2015
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Lancashire beat Northamptonshire by 13 runs in the final of the NatWest T20 Blast at Edgbaston, winning the competition for the first time on their sixth visit to Finals Day.

They were runners-up in 2005 and 2014 and losing semi-finalists in 2004, 2007, 2011 but they successfully defended 166 for seven to deny 2013 champions Northamptonshire a second title in three years.

Ashwell Prince (43) and Alex Davies (47) put on 77 for the first wicket before Northamptonshire fought back with David Willey - who will head to Yorkshire next season - took two for 21 and Shahid Afridi three for 14.

However, a cameo of 22 not out in 17 balls from Aaron Lilley hauled them up to a good score on a tired wicket and those late runs took on more importance as the evening wore on.

Richard Levi (16), Willey (24), Ben Duckett (20) and Afridi (26) all made useful contributions for Northamptonshire, whose innings was held together by Josh Cobb, who was unbeaten on 44 in 37 balls.

They were undone by Lancashire's ability to take wickets when they needed to most, despite a finger injury to James Faulkner, with youngster Gavin Griffiths, who only made his T20 debut in the semi-final, taking two for 23 with the wickets of Afridi and Rory Kleinveldt (11).

Faulkner finished with two for 25, Steven Croft one for 24 and Stephen Parry one for 23 as Northamptonshire limped to 153 for six to hand Lancashire their first limited overs trophy since 1999.

That score would have been enough to win both semi-finals earlier in the day as batting proved difficult on a slow pitch and the teams that adapted quickest prevailed.

The day began with Northamptonshire reducing Birmingham Bears to 14 for four, Willey taking three for 30, before the hosts recovered to 131 for six.

Richard Levi then picked up the man-of-the-match award by guiding Northamptonshire to a five-wicket win with two overs to spare by making 63 not out in 45 balls.

Lancashire sealed their progress by bowling Hampshire out for 115 in 19.5 overs with Faulkner and Parry grabbing three wickets apiece.

James Vince made 69 in 60 balls but only two others (Michael Carberry with 13 and Owais Shah with 12) reached double figures.

Karl Brown then hit an unbeaten 45 and Faulkner cracked a quickfire unbeaten to see Lancashire home with seven balls to spare.

© Cricket World 2015