Image credit: Lancashire Cricket Twitter

Lancashire take a valiant victory at Old Trafford after bowler Luke Wood wins the match with the penultimate ball of the innings to chase a total of 182.

Lancashire 182 for 8 (Bruce 50*, James 3-19) beat Worcestershire 181 for 4 (Cobb 74, Mahmoud 2-30) by two wickets.

A match-changing knock of 18 off 5 from Tom Hartley set Lancashire up for a breathtaking victory against Worcestershire at Old Trafford this afternoon as the home side looked doomed for their first loss in 23 home games.

The England international came out when his side needed 35 off 15 and provided a huge performance to put the hosts in with a chance to clinch the victory.

It was Luke Wood’s six off the second to last ball of the day that perfectly ended Lancashire’s innings as the pace bowler produced a massive maximum that flew over the rope with ease.

Image credit: Ben Taylor
Image: Lancashire win the toss and decide to bowl vs Worcestershire

Lancashire won the toss and decided to bowl, initially, it seemed like the correct decision. However, as the innings went on, Worcestershire’s batters got settled into the match and Josh Cobb found a match-altering total of 74 off 53.

A slow start from Cobb left him on 2(12) but he put his next 41 deliveries away for 72 leaving his side in a commanding position. A late knock of 45 from 26 for Adam Hose only added to the onslaught of boundaries, with the visitors hitting one every three balls in the last five overs of their innings.

One bright spark for Lancashire was Saqib Mahmood’s bowling, from which he took two early wickets and finished with figures of 2-30. He was the only seam bowler who managed to get some bounce out of the pitch, and with this, he found himself in the wickets. 

Image credit: Ben Taylor
Image: Tom Aspwinall goes for 15 off his first over vs Worcestershire

Lancashire flew out the blocks, losing all four top order batters within the first seven overs after two short but destructive cameos from Lavelle and Jennings. A rash run attempt led to a direct hit run out for Lavelle from the arm of substitute fielder and former Lancashire man Rob Jones. 

Hayden Walsh came into the attack to offer some spin and had the captain Keaton Jennings bowled, taking his off stump. It looked as though if Lancashire were to win the game, he would have to stay at the crease. His quickfire 41 was truly impressive.

It’s as if Jennings sees the ball in slow motion, the Lancashire man exudes experience with the bat amongst his younger batting partners.

Left at the crease were the oceanic pairing of Chris Green (of Australia) and Tom Bruce (of New Zealand), who elegantly guided their side through the middle overs but failed to make many indents into the required total. 

At one point in this partnership, the two went boundaryless for 25 balls, but as soon as the two found the middle of the bat, the scoring improved.

The final three overs were a spectacle in their own right, the thousands in attendance were not let down and, with many people unable to remain in their seats, the home side muddled their way to victory. 

Youngster Aspinwall was clean bowled by a fine yorker off Waite, making room for the match winner, Luke Wood.

Going into the final over, Lancashire required 11 runs and they only needed five, leaving them firmly second in the T20 Blast Northern League and cementing their opponents Worcestershire at the bottom of the table having won two matches this season.

Up next, Lancashire travel down to Derby and following that, the big one: Lancashire vs Yorkshire this Friday 7th July under the floodlights at Old Trafford. 

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