Mitchell Santner and Dillon Pennington’s heroics were in vain as Worcestershire Rapids suffered a last-over Vitality Blast setback when they went down by four wickets to Lancashire Lightning at Stanley Park, Blackpool.
Santner top-scored with his maiden T20 half-century for Worcestershire in a total of 177-9 after they had been put into bat.
The New Zealander struck four sixes and four fours in his 33-ball knock.
Pennington then bowled superbly in the powerplay, and when he returned to the attack, and he finished with 2-17 from four overs, including the prized wicket of Joss Buttler.
But a see saw game saw Daryl Mitchell settle the game in Lancashire’s favour with an unbeaten 33 from just 14 balls.
The Rapids named an unchanged side, and after a tight opening over from Luke Wood, skipper Brett D’Oliveira got the scoreboard moving with three successive boundaries off Jack Blatherwick.
He then cut Colin de Grandhomme for four but was caught for 17 at mid on from the next delivery which stopped in the pitch.
Jack Haynes timed the ball sweetly in lofting Wood over mid-wicket and through the covers off the back foot for boundaries.
Michael Bracewell (11) was caught at mid-off from a de Grandhomme delivery in the final over of the powerplay, which was completed with the total 47-2.
Haynes made a quickfire 19 but then holed out to long off against the spin of Tom Hartley.
Santner flicked Luke Wells off his hips for his first boundary as the Rapids reached 76-3 by the halfway stage.
Adam Hose greeted Livingstone’s introduction into the attack by sweeping him for two massive sixes over deep mid-wicket, the second of which flew out of the ground.
Santner survived two dropped chances before slapping a delivery from de Grandhomme over the ropes at deep mid-wicket.
Hose drove Wells down the ground for another maximum, but, after making 42 from 29 balls, fell at long on off the same bowler.
It was Hose’s fourth 40-plus score in his six innings in the Blast this summer, and his partnership with Santner was worth 61.
Kashif Ali (4) was taken at cover off Daryl Mitchell but Santner moved into overdrive and he deposited a full toss – called a no ball – from de Grandhomme over the mid wicket boundary to complete a 30 ball half century.
Ben Cox (2) fell to a fine catch at mid off to give Mitchell a second wicket and Ed Pollock (4) went at long-on off the same bowler.
Santner’s fine knock ended in the final over when he was caught behind off Wood, and Adam Finch was run out attempting a second run off the final delivery.
Pennington bowled an outstanding three-over new ball spell in the powerplay in which he troubled all the batters.
Phil Salt edged just short of keeper Cox, and Buttler sliced a delivery which fell in front of backward point.
But Pennington was rewarded in his third over when Salt (5) could only find Santner at mid on.
Finch also bowled well in the initial six overs, and he had Wells well caught by Pollock off a skier at mid-wicket.
The spin duo of Santner and D’Oliveira took pace off the ball and made it difficult for Lancashire to force the pace, and the total stood on 59-2 at the halfway stage.
Buttler started to accelerate and struck successive sixes, but Pennington’s return brought about his downfall on 58 when he top edged through to Cox at 113-3 in the 15th over.
The same over also brought about Steven Croft’s wicket on 40 when he was run out by Finch’s throw to the non-striker’s end after a mix-up with Mitchell.
Livingstone struck a quickfire 23 to bring Lancashire back into contention before he was pouched by D’Oliveira at mid-off off Brown.
Brown then took a superb catch off his own bowling from the next delivery, running 30 yards to hold onto the chance after Hartley skied the ball on the leg side.
But Mitchell showed his class to see Lancashire over the finishing line with three balls to spare.