From hotpots to hotshots: Lancashire edge Derbyshire in Blackpool thriller

From hotpots to hotshots: Lancashire edge Derbyshire in Blackpool thriller

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Only at a game of cricket could you spend the majority of the day sat watching the rain fall, contemplating what makes a hotpot a hotpot and wondering whether the game was over, before all hell breaks loose in the final 75 minutes of the afternoon.

But that was the scenario at Blackpool Cricket Club on Friday afternoon, as the club’s big day was rather dampened by a constant drizzle throughout the match. It arrived after just two overs, before two longer stoppages came to frustrate the locals.

In total four hours and 56 minutes of the match was lost through rain delays. But play was resumed at 5:30pm and when it did, it was Lancashire who came out on top in a thrilling conclusion.

The Lightning needed 47 from the final four overs and then 24 from the final two overs with just three wickets in hand. But they managed to reach the target with a ball to spare to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Chasing a revised target of 161 from 18 overs, Lancashire had started brightly with openers Karl Brown and Alex Davies charging to 39-0 after four overs of the innings. The break had allowed the spectators at Stanley Park to sample the delights of the various bars around the ground.

When Lancashire were flying the noise was considerable. Lusty blows from Brown and a huge six from Liam Livingstone were cheered with great gusto. But Derbyshire began to apply the squeeze.

Just four runs came from 12 deliveries as Davies also perished. Livingstone threatened to reignite the chase, dumping the ball out of the ground. But a steady flow of wickets had Lancashire constantly falling behind the rate.

With ten overs to go the Lightning needed 95 with eight wickets remaining. Another four overs passed and two more wickets fell, leaving 67 required from 36 balls. Jordan Clark, hampered by a side strain, was stumped off Jeevan Mendis and Derbyshire’s grip of the contest was strengthened.

But a 37-run partnership from just 22 balls between Steven Croft and Ryan McLaren, featuring a couple of big sixes, breathed life into the Lancashire chase once more. They reduced the equation to 30 from 17 balls when Shiv Thakor returned to bowl McLaren.

It felt like the wicket that would win them the contest and when it was backed up two balls later by the run out of Haseeb Hameed, Derbyshire looked home and hosed. 24 was needed from 12 balls.

But the Falcons seemed determined to give the crowd a thriller at the seaside, as Mendis dropped Croft, before Ben Cotton allowed a Stephen Parry flick to reach the boundary. Parry then took two more boundaries from the over to leave an equation of seven runs from the final over.

It was bowler Parry who struck the winning runs, launching Thakor over mid wicket to seal an extraordinary victory. He made 22 from just nine balls.

Early in the day Derbyshire had batted well, either side of a two-hour delay, to reach 132-2 from 21.3 overs when play was again adjourned at 2:47pm. Ben Slater was unbeaten on a run-a-ball 60 and Thakor has caught the eye with two enormous blows which went out of Stanley Park and on to West Park Drive.

The second of those blows came from the bowling of James Anderson, who responded with a few words for the Derbyshire batsman.

Their promising innings was abandoned by the weather, with Lancashire beginning their chase which was dictated by the ever-baffling Duckworth-Lewis method.

The win means Lancashire will be able to reach the knockouts if they win their remaining two games, which would be a remarkable feat having lost their first three.

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