Royal London One-Day Cup, Trent Bridge
Nottinghamshire 417-7 (50 overs): Clarke 139, Slater 74, Moores 74, Fletcher 46*
Lancashire 406-9 (50 overs): Vilas 166, Croft 110; Pattinson 5-61
Nottinghamshire won by 11 runs
Lancashire remain winless in the Royal London One-Day Cup after their narrow 11-run defeat to the Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.
Despite a record-breaking century from South African Dane Vilas and Lancashire veteran Steven Croft, the Red Rose failed to chase down the required 418 runs for victory.
In a difficult chase, the visitors stayed ahead of the required rate for most of it as it rained sixes in front of a healthy crowd.
The early loss of England opener Keaton Jennings (6) was a minor setback but Croft and Haseeb Hameed put on 58 for the second wicket before the latter edged James Pattinson behind for 30.
Australian Glenn Maxwell departed four overs later and Vilas entered to play the innings of his life.
The 33-year-old stepped up and played beautifully, placing the ball nicely and running hard between the wickets. It was his fourth-wicket partnership of 142 with Croft that resurrected the Lancashire innings to put them in a strong position.
Targetting the short boundary, Croft stuck 11 fours and four sixes in his knock of 110. He surrendered his wicket, falling victim to Pattinson to give the Australian his third wicket of the day.
After that crucial partnership, all responsibility lay with Vilas and he rose to the occasion – scoring Lancashire’s highest ever List-A score, hitting 13 fours and eight sixes in his innings off 166 before falling lbw by Pattinson. Vilas looked disgruntled by the decision and replays showed that the ball struck him outside the line of the off-stump and wasn’t coming back enough.
At 393-7 and with Lancashire requiring a further 25 runs off just 19 balls, it well and truly game on…
The tail couldn’t produce the goods as Jake Ball picked up the last two wickets to fall, going along with Pattinson’s 5-61.
England hopeful Joe Clarke struck an immaculate 139 in front of England selector James Taylor and was supported well by Ben Slater (74) as the pair shared the highest partnership ever for Nottinghamshire in List-A cricket – adding 197 for the first wicket.
It took Lancashire until the final ball of the 27th over to break the stand and they used eight bowlers in their search of a breakthrough.
That lay the foundations of the Outlaws’ innings before Tom Moores went ballistic, hitting eight sixes in a 39-ball 74.
Luke Fletcher was in an attacking mood too, hitting four fours off leg-spinner Matt Parkinson’s final over, finishing on 46 not out.
WHAT THEY SAID
Lancashire Head Coach Glen Chapple praised the opposition on BBC Radio Manchester and said: “Notts batted very well. Joe Clarke hit a great hundred up-front and they went on to make what would normally be an unchasable score.
“It was one hell of a pitch – a great pitch to bat on and the bowlers had no real options apart from the blockhole.”
He then went on to speak highly of Steven Croft and Dane Vilas and said: “Both teams batted really well and Crofty’s innings was fantastic.
“For someone who’s been struggling to get in the team and batting down the order, he’s been in really good form lately and Dane’s innings was probably the best I’ve ever seen in One-Day cricket.”
Next up for Lancashire is a trip across the Pennines to battle it out against Yorkshire in the Roses match at Emerald Headingley on Sunday.
It is now a must-win game if they want to have any chance of progressing to the knock-out stages.
Feature image credit: Lancashire Cricket