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Lancashire Lightning v Middlesex: Match Report

Lancashire secured their first Royal London One-Day Cup win at the third attempt today having taken advantage of winning an important toss to bowl Middlesex out for just 161 in a fascinating affair at Blackpool.

The Lightning kick-started their Group B campaign after a washout at Sussex on Sunday and Monday’s heavy defeat to Essex at Chelmsford, but it was far from easy as they won by two wickets with only two overs to spare.

Ironically, they were on the wrong end of the toss against Essex and lost by seven wickets having only posted 161-9. 

Here, however, things went their way after James Harris top-scored with 32 on an uneven surface.

Former Lancashire seamer Junaid Khan, the Pakistan left-armer on debut for Middlesex, helped the visitors recover with two early wickets, and the chase stumbled to 93-6 in the 24th over.

James Faulkner, however, backed up his 2-27 with a crucial 35 in a stand of 47 with Jordan Clark, who added an important 29 as Lancashire snook home.

Tom Bailey struck three times in an impressive six-over spell with the new ball having come into the Lightning side for Kyle Jarvis, with the visitors slipping to 36 for three in the ninth.

Dawid Malan was caught behind off a Bailey delivery with extra bounce, Sam Robson chopped on with one that kept low and Nick Compton was caught at mid-wicket after a top-edged pull.

Bailey, with 3-31 from eight overs, was ably backed by new ball partner Gavin Griffiths, whose only wicket was Ollie Rayner caught behind to leave Middlesex at 83-7 in the 28th.

In between, Faulkner had Eoin Morgan caught behind and James Franklin caught at short cover by Bailey off a leading edge, while Clark had Nick Gubbins caught at first slip.

Steven Croft struck with his third ball of off-spin in the 37th over when John Simpson was lbw, leaving Middlesex at 111-8.

But Harris and Toby Roland-Jones, who made 29, shared 50 in 61 balls for the ninth wicket to give themselves something to bowl at.

Roland-Jones hit Stephen Parry’s left-arm spin for successive boundaries in the 47th over before holing out to deep mid-wicket. Harris then miscued a sweep to square-leg next ball.

Khan had Ashwell Prince caught at point in the third over of Lancashire’s innings and Karl Brown caught at second slip for a fluent 36, while Harris had Alviro Petersen caught at mid-off.

Wickets continued to fall. Franklin had Croft, on his home ground, caught behind and snared Paul Horton caught at second slip. 

When Alex Davies edged Roland-Jones behind, Lancashire still needed 69 with Faulkner and Clark at the crease.

The pair united for just short of 18 overs and took their side with 22 before Faulkner gloved a Junaid lifter to slip to finish with 3-32 and Clark did the same to Harris, leaving Lancashire 15 short with two wickets left.

Parry then hit the winning runs off Rayner’s off-spin, leaving Middlesex with only one point from two matches.

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