LANCASHIRE Lightning chalked up their first win of the T20 blast by beating old enemy Yorkshire Vikings by 26 runs.

Half centuries from Karl Brown and Liam Livingstone set up a massive target of 204 for Yorkshire to win.

The Vikings only scored 178, after losing Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, and Tim Bresnan for just 29; with Joe Root making the only major contribution to Yorkshire’s total of 92 runs off 71 balls.

Lancashire innings analysis

You almost got the feeling The Lightning would get off to a start befitting their name when Mark Guptill swept Root for four with the first ball off the innings.

The opening partnership of Guptill and Alvaro Peterson managed to score 23 in the opening three overs before the former was caught superbly by Alex Lees.

Yorkshire would continue their fightback after Peterson was caught by Jonny Birstow after a top edge went sky high.

The wicket of Peterson made it an even game after the opening power play, however two straight sixes from Karl Brown in the seventh over would boost their score up to 62-2.

Partner in crime Livingstone would put in a record breaking innings reaching 50 from just 21 balls.

Two balls later though, and Liam Plunkett would have his man, the two had been dueling throughout the innings, and one hit too many ended a stunning innings.

In next was Jos Buttler, a man under pressure after his opening two performances left a lot to be desired. The opportunity seemed perfect for him to put the innings beyond anything the visitors could chase.

The England wicketkeeper started superbly, pounding himself to a strike rate of over 200, yet would get out soon after for 23 after being caught by Bresnen.

Lancasire put on a vintage display of T20 cricket in the final five overs, with a superb cameo by Jordan Clarke, who managed to score 28 in 14 before being caught behind by Birstow.

A couple more late runs meant Lancashire set Yorkshire the ambitious total of 205.

Yorkshire innings analysis

Yorkshire’s opening overs were almost a mirror image of The Red Rose after scoring a quickfire 21 off the first two overs.

Opening batsmen Niel Wagner and Alex Lees would continue to build the opening partnership to 29, however the latter mistimed his advance shot and was caught well by Aaron Lilley.

The Lightning couldn’t afford to rest on their laurels, however, as the next man in was the ever impressive Root.

The Leeds-born number three would put in an anchoring innings to keep Yorkshire firmly in the game, however was let down by his fellow batsmen as he struggled to build a decent partnership.

David Willey found himself caught out by Croft at mid-off, as in form batsman Bairstow would join Root in the middle.

The England wicketkeeper would quickly build a solid partnership that would give Yorkshire hope of matching Lancashire’s mighty total, but would find himself caught out controversially.

The official decision was that he was caught behind by Buttler, but Bairstow looked bemused when the umpire’s finger went up; replays would also suggest that the batsman didn’t strike the ball before being given out.

England capped Gary Balance would then go on to join Root at the crease, another steady partnership was being constructed by the visitors, but once again another wicket fell before Root and Ballance could reach top gear.

This time there was no doubt, with Peterson taking a superb diving catch from the boundary, forcing Balance back to the pavilion for just eight.

With Yorkshire now requiring around two runs per ball, pressure was mounting on all rounder Bresnan, who represented The White Roses’ last chance to score at a quick rate.

Bresnan, despite looking pumped up on his way to the crease, was quickly dispatched by Lancashire for just three, as his straight slog was caught in the deep by Brown.

It was then up to Root alone to secure a seemingly impossible victory; through the carnage he managed to secure a half century off 30 balls.

Despite the best efforts of Liam Plunkett, including breaking his bat in the 16th over, he couldn’t score at a regular enough rate to chase down Lancashire’s huge total.

The Red Rose also had the last word thanks to two quick wickets in the final over: first Plunkett went after taking on an ambitious shot, then Stephen Parry would also be caught out doing the exact same thing.

By Oliver Mackenzie

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