Foxes edged out at leaders

BLAST 14 | Lancashire Lightning 143 for five beat Leicestershire Foxes 142 for nine by five wickets

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

POINTS | Lancashire Lightning 2, Leicestershire Foxes 0

REACTION | To follow

REPORT | Leicestershire Foxes’ Vitality Blast campaign of 2019 came to an end with a narrow defeat to North group winners Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford.

Opener Mark Cosgrove was again in fine form, scoring 39 off just 19 balls in a Foxes total of 142 for nine

Callum Parkinson then continued his third successive excellent Vitality Blast season by taking two for 17 off four overs.

The slow left armer has now taken 42 wickets for the Foxes in the competition – only Claude Henderson, Ben Raine and Clint McKay have more.

Arron Lilley (4-0-20-1) bowled well to go with a score of 28 against his former side, but it was not enough to deny Lightning the points.

After a short delay due to rain, Leicestershire Foxes were batting first after Colin Ackermann won the toss. There was one change as Harry Dearden came in for Aadil Ali.

Cosgrove clipped a couple of fours down to fine-leg in the first over from Saqib Mahmood and then struck Gleeson away over mid-on in the second.

The left-hander then smashed Australia all-rounder James Faulkner for a huge six to mid-wicket before finding the fence on two further occasions when Mahmood re-entered the attack.

Progress was checked in the fifth over as Steven Croft bowled Cosgrove to end the opening partnership at 44, and then a decent piece of fielding from Josh Bohannon saw Harry Swindells (4, 10b) run out.

A rebuild was provided by Lilley and Ackermann, who worked the spin of Liam Livingstone and Glenn Maxwell around nicely.

They shared 33 for the third wicket before Ackermann (21, 19b) was caught at backward point off Matt Parkinson as he attempted a reverse-sweep.

Lilley, who hit a four and a straight six in 28 (20b), took the score into three wickets before smashing Faulkner to deep mid-wicket.

It paired Dearden and Lewis Hill at the wicket, and Hill (3, 5b) fell to a similar stroke to Ackermann.

Maxwell (4-0-22-1), operating around the wicket, got the ball to flick the gloves of Hill. It ended in the hands of Dane Vilas, and was the sharpest of catches from the Lightning gloveman.

That wicket meant the crowd got to see a fairly unique sight in cricket - Callum Parkinson facing his twin brother Matt - and Dearden managed to nutmeg Vilas off the leg-spinner to record his first four.

A busy stand between two players who played in the Lancashire age groups was put paid to when Matt Parkinson (4-0-26-2) bowled Dearden (24, 27b).

There were three further run outs in the closing stages: Ben Mike (2, 3b), Dieter Klein (1, 1b) and Callum Parkinson (17, 16b).

Leicestershire Foxes needed a tight start but Livingstone and Davies found the boundary regularly in the powerplay with some enterprising strokes.

Livingstone smoked a brace of leg-side sixes at the start of the fourth over, and the 50 was registered before the end of the fifth.

The Foxes needed a wicket and Mike provided it, Livingstone (28, 20b) hitting the ball high into the night sky and being well held by Lilley at deep mid-wicket.

When Croft (5, 4b) misjudged a spinning Callum Parkinson delivery and lofted to Ackermann in the covers in the seventh, the Foxes had something to build on.

However, Davies hit consecutive balls for four and six as 20 runs were scored off the next two overs, leaving the score at 84 for two after nine.

Mike and Callum Parkinson continued to impress, and after a second tight over from the seaming all-rounder, Callum Parkinson joined Ackermann on 12 wickets in the competition in 2019 by bowling Davies for 39 (30b).  

When Will Davis had Vilas (6, 5b) held by Lilley at deep backward square, Lightning were at 98 for four. But they had Maxwell and Faulkner at the crease, and the experienced Australian duo had to work hard to get themselves in.

Tight bowling from Davis, Lilley, Ackermann and Callum Parkinson got the rate back up to a-run-a-ball for the last four overs.

And when Lilley trapped Faulkner lbw from around the wicket, suddenly Lightning needed 22 off 19 deliveries.

Maxwell (29no, 31b) then pulled a maximum in the 18th over to take the pressure off, and Jennings made 12no off five balls to steer his side to an eighth group stage victory.

FIGURES | Parkinson 4-0-17-2, Klein 1-0-14-0, Lilley 4-0-20-1, Griffiths 2-0-23-0, Davis 3-0-20-1, Mike 2-0-12-1, Ackermann 1.4-0-20-0

TEAM | Ackermann (capt), Swindells, Lilley, Cosgrove, Dearden, Hill (wk), Aadil, Klein, C Parkinson, Davis, Griffiths

LIGHTNING | Livingstone, Davies, Croft, Jennings, Maxwell, Vilas (capt & wk), Faulkner, Bohannon, M Parkinson, Mahmood, Gleeson

IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallett of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game