Wednesday, August 10th, 2022


Taylor Cornall struck his maiden List A half-century alongside another excellent knock by Kashif Ali, but Worcestershire went down by six wickets in a day-night Royal London Cup encounter with Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.

Cornall was promoted to open the innings against the county he made two Royal London Cup appearances for last summer and showed plenty of determination in laying a solid platform with 58 off 83 balls.

Kashif, who top-scored with 61, then gave the second half of the innings momentum in a total of 248-9.

But Worcestershire had only three front-line bowlers in Joe Leach, Dillon Pennington and Adam Finch because of injuries and call-ups to The Hundred.

Luke Wells and George Balderson capitalised on some loose deliveries during the powerplay, and then a century stand by Rob Jones, who ended unbeaten on 85, and George Bell helped Lancashire to clinch victory.

The Rapids handed a first-team debut to Academy all-rounder Evitts after he signed a short-term professional rookie contract, and he bowled six tidy overs for 21 runs.

He became the second Academy product to be bloodied in the competition after keeper-batter Henry Cullen’s appearance against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in place of the sick Ben Cox.

Gareth Roderick was also declared fit after suffering a strained pectoral muscle versus Yorkshire at Scarborough, and Ed Barnard was selected purely as a batter after sustaining split finger webbing in the same game.

Cornall was pushed up the order to open alongside Azhar Ali in place of Ed Pollock after captain Jake Libby won the toss and elected to bat

Worcestershire had lost wickets in the previous fixtures’ initial powerplays, but Azhar and Cornall made a solid start against the new ball attack of Liam Hurt and Tom Bailey.

Azhar collected the first boundary when he hammered Bailey through the covers in the sixth over.

He had moved onto 29 from 37 balls with three boundaries when he turned Danny Lamb around the corner and was caught at fine leg with 48 on the board.

Cornall continued to accumulate steadily, and Roderick again looked in good touch and smashed Lamb over the mid-wicket boundary into the building site area on the ground.

He batted fluently in making 30 from 36 deliveries and was unfortunate to be bowled by Jack Morley with the ball rebounding off an inside-edge to his pads and then onto the stumps.

His partnership with Cornall was worth 52 in just ten overs.

Cornall helped a delivery from Morley around the corner for three to complete a 79-ball half-century, and he advanced to 58 before he had a dab at a Luke Wells delivery and was bowled.

Libby (12) was bowled by Lamb, and Barnard (5) inside edged a delivery from Hurt onto his stumps.

Kashif Ali was soon into his stride and produced one of the shots of the day when he lofted Lamb for a huge six over long on.

He was joined by Ben Cox, who was full of confidence after successive half-centuries against Kent at New Road and Yorkshire at Scarborough.

The pair added 44 in seven overs and Kashif, a century-maker on his List A debut against Kent, clipped Bailey through mid on for two to complete an excellent 41-ball half-century.

Wells picked up two wickets in an over when Cox (24) was caught around the corner attempting a sweep, and Joe Leach (1) offered a return catch.

Kashif’s fine effort ended on 61 in the final over when he holed out to long off from the bowling of Bailey.

Lancashire opted for an aggressive approach when they launched their reply, with Wells and Balderson hitting 62 in the initial ten over powerplay.

Finch made a breakthrough when Wells, having struck 49 from 33 balls, drove straight to leach at mid-on at 76-1.

Libby brought himself into the attack and was rewarded when Balderson, 35 off 54 deliveries, picked out sub fielder Pollock at extra cover.

There was then a first success for Leach when he returned for his second spell as Steven Croft (15) went for a drive and nicked through to Cox at 117-3.

Jones and George Bell (35) then put together the decisive stand of 102 before Libby claimed a second scalp.

Bell (35), on his List A debut, went for a big hit and skied a comfortable catch to Cornall at cover.

Jones went on to finish undefeated on 85 from 101 balls as victory was achieved by the Lightning with five overs to spare.