Match Report: Lancashire Lightning v Essex Eagles


Lancashire Lightning v Essex Eagles

Vitality Blast
Emirates Old Trafford


Team News:

Lancashire Lightning: Phil Salt (wk), Keaton Jennings, Steven Croft, Dane Vilas (c), Tim David, Rob Jones, Luke Wells, Danny Lamb, Luke Wood, Tom Hartley, Tom Bailey.

Essex Eagles: Adam Rossington (wk), Matt Critchley, Michael Pepper, Dan Lawrence, Paul Walter, Tom Westley, Daniel Sams, Simon Harmer (c), Aaron Beard, Ben Allison, Sam Cook.

Match Details:

Umpires: Nigel Llong, Ian Blackwell & Neil Bainton
Match Referee: Will Smith
Toss: Essex Eagles, who elected to bat
Result: Lancashire Lightning win by 7 wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Match Highlights:

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Match Reaction: Simon Harmer

Match Report:

Essex Eagles’ Vitality Blast campaign concluded at the Quater-Final stages on Friday night, Lancashire Lightning chasing down 162 with 7 wickets in hand to progress to Finals Day.

A 10,800-strong crowd watched Steven Croft secure the host’s record-equalling 9th Finals Day appearance alongside Hampshire Hawks with a brilliant unbeaten 76 off 48 balls, including 4 sixes.

This game saw the Eagles make 161-5 on a slowish pitch, with Michael Pepper top-scoring with 36 from 28, supported by an unbeaten 34 from Paul Walter.

Adam Rossington hit 2 fours and a six over long-on off Tom Hartley’s spin as 15 came off the 3rd over, with the Eagles 29-0 after 18 balls.

He was then brilliantly caught for 25 by a diving Tim David at deep midwicket off Luke Wood, leaving Simon Harmer’s side 43-1 in the 5th.

Pepper was caught behind by Salt in the 5th over on 0, only to successfully review, before Matt Critchley was caught at cover off Danny Lamb.

It was even-stevens at 53-2 after 6 overs, but every time you felt the Eagles were getting on top, the hosts struck.

The departure of Lawrence, smartly caught by mid-on by David for 15, was an example.

But the 13th over brought the prime example when Pepper swept Hartley for six to take the side beyond 100 before falling stumped by Salt next ball, with the Eagles 101-4.

Salt was at it again a couple of overs later, with some sharp work getting Tom Westley stumped off Luke Wells’ leg-spin. The hosts were now on top as the Eagles fell to 112-5 in the 15th.

Harmer’s side were revived by an unbroken 49 stand for the 6th-wicket between Paul Walter and Dan Sams, who shared 3 sixes to push the side just beyond 160.

Walter finished 34 not out and Sams 25 as Lancashire’s trio of seamers – Tom Bailey, Lamb and Wood – went for 28 apiece. Wood was the pick with 2 wickets.

The Lightning response got off to an unfortunate start when, 6 balls in, Keaton Jennings was run out backing up without facing following a Sam Cook deflection (6-1).

But Salt and Croft were quickly into rhythm to turn the game decisively with a 73-run partnership inside 8 overs.

19 runs came off the 3rd over, including back-to-back Croft sixes against Sams’ left-arm seam straight and over third.

The powerful ball-striking from the hosts continued as the powerplay ended at 61-1.

By the time Croft, strong all around the wicket, reached his 50 off 32 balls, Lightning were 77-1 in the 9th over.

Salt (27) was then victim of a superb relay catch on the deep mid-wicket boundary off Critchley’s leg-spin, Pepper the initial fielder throwing it to Allison before stepping on the rope. 79-2 in the 9th.

Captain Vilas then played support to Croft as the pair rubber-stamped a 15th game unbeaten on home turf for the hosts.

He slog-swept 2 sixes off Critchley over midwicket to race to 35 off 14 balls. By that time, the score was 134-2 with 28 needed off 7 overs.

Vilas went on to reach his 50 off just 22 balls, but fell to Simon Harmer with 5 needed.

It was down to Tim David to hit the winning runs, with the hosts winning by 7 wickets and reaching their target in 15.4 overs.