Ashwell Prince bludgeoned a half century to take Lancashire to top of the table in their section of the T20 Blast, reports GARETH STEVENS.
In a top of the log clash, Lancashire crushed Worcestershire on a flat wicket in Worcester on Sunday. The hosts made the mistake of inserting Lancashire who, led by Prince’s 68 off 43 balls at the top of the order, piled on 229-4.
The mammoth total proved out of reach even on a pitch reminiscent of the ground’s name, New Road. The hosts reached 179-7, falling 50 runs short. The result means that Lancashire top the north section of the T20 Bash after 11 matches and gave Andrew Flintoff a winning return to County Cricket.
Elsewhere, a Somerset team boasting three South Africans proved too strong for Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. Somerset elected to bat first and compiled 155-4. Alviro Petersen finished undefeated on 38, while Abbott had an off day. The tall seamer returned figures of 1-38 in his four overs.
In reply, Hampshire’s chase never gathered any momentum. They eventually surrendered for 116 inside 17 overs. The South African pair of Tim Groenewald (0-12 in three overs) and Alfonso Thomas (2-10 in two overs) were the only two bowlers to concede less than six to the over.
Friday night saw two one-sided results. Hampshire beat Kent by 47 runs in Canterbury. After being inserted, Hampshire posted 173-9 in their 20 overs. A commanding performance by the seamers then dismissed the hosts for 126 in the 19th over.
Kyle Abbott was unplayable on the day. He returned the impressive figures, especially in T20 cricket, of 2-14 in three overs to seal a crushing victory.
Essex cruised to a five wicket win over Surrey at Chelmsford. The visitors were asked to bat first and reached 165-4. Kevin Pietersen’s laboured innings of one off 11 balls halted momentum and would eventually prove to be the difference between the two sides.
The chase was always under control. Essex reached their target with nine balls to spare, despite Robin Peterson’s best efforts. The spinner struggled for control and leaked 18 runs in two overs.