Royal London One-Day Cup, Emirates Old Trafford
Leicestershire 80 all out (37.0 overs): Dearden 20; Mahmood 5-14
Lancashire 83-1 (19.0 overs): Croft 37, Hameed 29; Klein 1-19
Lancashire won by 9 wickets
Saqib Mahmood led the way for Lancashire claiming figures of 5-14 as the Red Rose defeated Leicestershire by nine wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup North Group match at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old continued his fine form following on from his 6-37 against Northamptonshire on Wednesday. He became the first man to collect successive five-wicket hauls and inflicted Leicestershire’s lowest List-A total (80 all out) against Lancashire – beating the 90 scored at Old Trafford during a John Player League match in 1972.
Mahmood bowled with pace and bowled a straight line, asking questions of the batsmen as he probed the outside edge on several occasions.
He was supported well by Liam Hurt who picked up two wickets and there was one apiece for James Anderson, Glenn Maxwell and Rob Jones.
Granted that Mahmood et al bowled well, the Leicestershire batting coach would have been disappointed as batsmen played loose shots with a lack of foot movement allowing Lancashire to cease the initiative.
At 68-9, the final Leicestershire pair added 12 in nine overs before Jones bowled Gavin Griffiths for four.
In response, Lancashire got off to a slow start and remained behind Leicestershire’s scoring rate in the early stages as Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hameed looked to set a foundation.
Jennings (16) was removed in the eighth over by Dieter Klein thanks to a magnificent catch by Mark Cosgrove, leaving the hosts on 16-1 in reply.
Hameed and Steven Croft added an unbeaten 73 for the second wicket to see Lancashire over the line with 31 overs to spare, finishing on 29 and 37 not out respectively. The latter struck his 4,000th List-A run in the process.
WHAT THEY SAID
After two fine performances in a row, Mahmood spoke about how nice it was to find a rhythm again.
“I was slightly rusty in the first few games where I didn’t pick up wickets and probably leaked runs. I kept it really simple in the last couple of games and that comes by playing more and more.” he said.
Mahmood added: “I just tried to bowl in good areas by treating the pitch like a flat wicket and their was something in the wicket today. You were rewarded when the balls were in the right area.”
Today’s victory keeps their hopes alive for a play-off spot, but they will have to overcome Durham at South Northumberland.
Lancashire are chasing that final top-three spot – which Durham currently occupy. The Chester-Le-Street side have suffered one defeat in the campaign which came at the hands of Worcestershire.