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30th April 2019 Match Reports

Lees century in vain as Lancashire sneak home

Result: Lancashire (230/7; Croft 99; Raine 2/34) beat Durham (229; Lees 115; Maxwell 3/42) by 3 wickets

Alex Lees scored his maiden century for Durham but Lancashire snuck home by three wickets in the final over in a thrilling Royal London One-Day Cup clash at South North.

The home side were grateful to a career-best List A innings from the number three that guided them to a competitive total of 229 from their 50 overs.

Steven Croft took command of the visitors’ chase after the early loss of Keaton Jennings.  The 34-year-old fell one short of a century, and his dismissal sparked a collapse that set up a tense finale.

However, it was former Durham man Graham Onions who played the decisive knock, blasting two sixes in the 48th over, which provided the momentum for Lancashire to close out the victory.

Durham were inserted by the visitors, and Saqib Mahmood made the breakthrough in the fourth over, removing Graham Clark’s middle stump before Scott Steel was run out after slipping.

Cameron Bancroft and Lees began to form a solid partnership to calm the nerves, with the latter smashing a huge six off Anderson.

Their stand was broken at 41 by the off-spin of Maxwell when the Durham skipper played a return catch to his compatriot. Michael Richardson and Jack Burnham fell cheaply, while Liam Trevaskis was pinned lbw for 16 by Stephen Parry, leaving the home side 104-6.

Amid wickets falling at the other end, Lees held firm and he posted his fourth half-century in a row in the One-Day Cup. Ben Raine proved to be a valuable foil for Lees as the two players formed the first fifty partnership of the innings.

Raine hit Anderson for 11 in one over, including two boundaries, but was then dismissed by Maxwell before Matthew Potts added 22 valuable runs in another good partnership for the hosts in the lower order.

Lees took the decision to accelerate after Potts fell caught behind to Anderson & the 26-year-old recorded his second List A century from 119 balls before dispatching Anderson over the top for two sixes.

He made a career-best 115 before he was caught on the rope by Rob Jones off Mahmood to end the innings for 229.

Lancashire’s lost Jennings in the first over of their reply when he was run out by Burnham at backward point for only a single. Croft and Haseeb Hameed put on fifty for the second wicket, but Raine broke the partnership when he trapped the latter lbw for 17.

After his blistering start, Croft settled into his innings and passed fifty for the third time in six matches. Maxwell was steady in his effort, but his attempt to cut loose cost him his wicket being bowled for 26 by Trevaskis. Lancashire built again as Dane Vilas joined Croft in the middle, yielding a stand of 54 to whittle down the required total.

Raine removed Vilas for 20 when he was caught on the fence by Burnham. However, Croft kept Lancashire on course and was on the verge of scoring his second century of the season in the One-Day, only to fall agonisingly short on 99 when he was pinned lbw by Salisbury.

Croft’s dismissal caused nerves in the Lancashire batting ranks. Josh Bohannon and Stephen Parry both lost their composure to put the pressure on the visitors, but there was to be a twist in the tale when Onions blasted two late sixes off Raine to ensure the Lancashire claimed the win with four balls to spare.

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