Sunday, July 7th, 2024

Highlights & Report | Lancashire Lightning vs Worcestershire Rapids

Josh Cobb hit a superb maiden fifty for Worcestershire Rapids but they suffered a dramatic last over two wicket setback against Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality Blast at Emirates Old Trafford.

Cobb gradually accelerated to make 74 off 52 balls in a Worcestershire total of 181-4 – their highest in the competition this summer.

Gareth Roderick (26 off 20) and vice-captain Adam Hose, with a big-hitting unbeaten 45 off just 26 deliveries, also played major roles with the bat.

Worcestershire appeared to be on course for victory with their leg spinning duo of Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, and Hayden Walsh, bowling tight and effective spells.

Lancashire lost wickets at regular intervals after Keaton Jennings early attacking blast and they needed 53 from the final four overs.

But they just managed to stay in the hunt with the scoring rate thanks to Tom Bruce’s 36 ball 50 and a six in the final over from former Worcestershire loanee Luke Wood saw the Lightning home with one ball to spare.

Worcestershire handed a Blast debut to young pace bowler Harry Darley in place of Adam Finch.

Darley made his first senior appearance last summer in the National County versus First Class match against Shropshire when he had figures of 3-17 in six overs.

It was the only change from the side which were in action against Durham on Friday with D’Oliveira fit to again lead the side.

Lighting skipper Jennings, won the toss and put the Rapids into bat and play started on time on a greenish pitch despite pre match rain.

D’Oliveira (7) received a delivery dug in by Saqib Mahmood and gloved on the on side to keeper Matty Hurst.

Kashif Ali (16) hit Mahmood for six over mid wicket but the next ball aimed another blow on the leg side and mis-timed a catch to mid off at 27-2 in the fourth over.

Roderick, was quicky into his stride with a ramp shot for six off Mahmood as the Rapids reached 40-2 in the powerplay.

Cobb accelerated after a quiet start with two boundaries in an over from Tom Aspinwall and he then struck Chris Green over the leg side boundary.

Roderick collected another maximum over deep backward square at Tom Hartley’s expense as the 50 partnership came up.

The stand was worth 57 when Roderick, having made 26 off 20 balls, attempted to sweep spinner Chris Green and was lbw.

Cobb went onto complete an excellent 40 ball half century as he turned Green off his hips for another boundary.

He greeted the return of Aspinwall with two further maximums and Hose did the same at Green’s expense.

Cobb’s superb knock came top an end when he was caught at long off against Green having made 78 off just 52 balls – and his final 76 came off only 42 deliveries.

Hose continue to hammer away and scooped the returning Luke Wood for six and two further fours in the final over from Mahmood lifted his individual tally to 45 from 26 balls out of 181-4.

Tom Taylor took the new ball and a superb swinging delivery saw Luke Wells (1) edge through Roderick after aiming across the line.

There was a second breakthrough when Hurst (1) came down the pitch to Waite and only carved the ball to cover where Ed Pollock held onto a good low catch at 27-2.

Jennings and George Lavelle hit a succession of boundaries to keep Lancashire up with the run rate but then a fine piece of fielding by ex Lancashire player, Rob Jones, fielding broke the stand.

Lavelle (20) played Taylor to cover and set off for a single but was beaten by Jones direct hit as Lancashire ended the powerplay on 63-3.

Jones was fielding as a substitute for Hose.

Walsh came into the attack and struck a big blow when Jennings (41) was bowled by a fine delivery which hit the top of off stump.

D’Oliveira then clung onto a stinging catch at short extra cover to dismiss Steen Croft (16) in Ethan Brookes first over.

Brookes had more success when brought back for the 18th over as Green was pouched by Cobb at long on at 150-6 but then Tom Hartley struck successive sixes from his first two deliveries.

Waite claimed a scalp in the penultimate over when Hartley (18) was caught behind with 11 needed from seven balls.

He made it two wickets in two balls in bowling Aspinwall for a duck.

The final over was entrusted to Tom Taylor with 11 needed for victory and he conceded just five runs from the first four balls but Wood hit the penultimate delivery over the legside boundary.

Josh Cobb, said: We played some good cricket in that game and we were still in with a shout going into the last over, so to lose with a ball to spare is obviously bitterly disappointing.

“You look back to the Northants game when Gareth Roderick could have got us over the line and then potentially me at Leicestershire and, if we’d won those close ones, things look a little different.

“The dressing room becomes a little more confident and that filters through. On the other hand, if you then get well-beaten in a game, you’re a long way behind the eight ball.

“But that’s been the story of the season. We’ve not been winning those close games and in a competition like this, they’re the ones you have to win.

“I’ve been disappointed with my own form, I’ve not got going with the bat, so it was nice to get some runs today. I felt 180 was a good score.

“The pitch called for good strong cricket shots but once you’ve faced a few balls, you revert to slogging and once I’d got used to the pitch everything became a little bit easier.”