Vitality Blast 2021: Lancashire beat Yorkshire by 4 wickets in Roses clash
Luke Wood’s career best four for 20 against his home county Yorkshire helped secure Lancashire’s place in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with a nail-biting Roses win at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire 131/6 (19 ov)
Yorkshire 128/7 (20 ov)
Result - Lancashire won by 4 wickets
Left-arm seamer Wood, Sheffield-born and schooled in Nottinghamshire, struck twice in two separate overs as the Vikings stumbled to 128 for seven after another son of the Steel City, Joe Root, elected to bat and top-scored with 32.
Lancashire fell from 37 without loss to 64 for five as boundary hitting tested both sides.
Luke Wells, with 30, and Steven Croft shared a recovering 55. Danny Lamb then hit back-to-back boundaries off Matthew Fisher to seal a four-wicket win with an over to spare. Yorkshire came into this having already secured their first quarter-finals appearance since 2016.
Lancashire’s 16-point haul is one more than Yorkshire’s having avenged the defeat at Emerald Headingley earlier this month.
But, with the North Group decided on an average points per completed match basis because of Derbyshire’s Coronavirus issues, the White Rose finish second with a better points average from their 13 games to the Red Rose’s 14.
Unfortunately, due to a clash with the England v India Test Match in late August, they can’t host their quarter-final at Headingley.
And if they are going to claim their maiden Blast title, they will have to reverse some wretched away form - this being their fifth defeat in six on the road.
Yorkshire struggled for timing against an accurate attack, highlighted by Root’s 32 taking him 37 balls and Gary Ballance pulling the only six of the innings in 31.
Liam Hurt had Root caught behind trying to uppercut - 91 for four in the 16th over - while Danny Lamb and Luke Wells also struck.
Wood set the tone in the game’s third over when he had Adam Lyth brilliantly caught behind one-handed down leg by Dane Vilas before bowling Mark Stoneman - 11 for two.
He later bowled Ballance and had Jordan Thompson caught and bowled in the 17th, leaving Yorkshire at 101 for six.
New Zealand opener Finn Allen crashed two sixes in a breezy 22 to kickstart the Lightning’s chase.
But he was bowled trying to scoop Fisher to leg as skittish Lancashire lost five for 27 inside five overs, including Root getting Vilas caught behind sweeping, as the score fell to 64 for five in the eighth.
Wells and Croft - 26 not out - steadied through accumulation before hitting a six apiece off spin in the 16th and 17th overs to reassert their authority at 112 for five.
Yorkshire opted against running Croft out after he slipped badly mid-pitch before Lamb finished the game in the 19th over.
Lancashire’s Luke Wood said: “We knew we had to win all three games. We’ve got a good record at home, but you can’t rely on that. You have to put the performances in.
“The last three games have been great. We’ve showed what quality we have.
“We got momentum in this at the right time. We’re through, and that was what we set out to achieve at the start of the season.
“It was nice (getting a career best tonight). But I’ve probably not got as many wickets as I would have liked.
“I didn’t quite find my feet at the start, but I’ve felt really good at the back end of this competition.
“Tonight, I was a lot more disciplined and took on that senior bowler role. It’s worked out for me.”
Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale said: “We felt at half-time that we were probably 30 runs short. It wasn’t the shirt front of a pitch that it was last night here (Lancashire v Durham).
“Rooty came off said, ‘150 and we’re right in the game’.
“We just couldn’t get one guy in and get going.
“They were obviously going to come hard at us in their power play, which would create opportunities. If we could look to take wickets, be brave with our field and field well, you never know.
“We probably didn’t set the tone up front with the ball.
“It was a good game of cricket.
“It’s key we reflect on a what’s been a good campaign for us, finishing second in the group having used, I think, 22 or 23 players and had three captains.”
Lancashire Lightning - Finn Allen, Keaton Jennings, Alex Davies, Dane Vilas(c)(wk), Steven Croft, Rob Jones, Luke Wells, Luke Wood, Danny Lamb, Tom Hartley, Liam Hurt
Yorkshire Vikings - Mark Stoneman, Adam Lyth, Joe Root(c), Harry Brook, Gary Balance, Will Fraine, Jordan Thompson, Dom Bess, Matthew Waite, Harry Duke(wk), Matt Fisher
Start Time: 17:00
Toss: Yorkshire Vikings won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Officials: Russell Warren, Ian Blackwell, Robert Bailey
©Cricket World 2021