Dane Vilas and Jordan Clark shared a mammoth partnership before Clark also produced a career-best bowling display, as Lancashire made it back-to-back victories in the Royal London One-Day with a thumping win over the previously unbeaten Worcestershire at Old Trafford.
Clark became just the eighth Lancashire batsman to score a half century and take four wickets in a List A game, as the Lightning ran out winners by 152 runs on a baking hot day in Manchester.
His spell of four wickets for just five runs in 18 balls helped rip the heart out of the Worcestershire chase, after his mammoth unbroken partnership of 160 runs from 113 balls with Vilas had guided Lancashire to an ultimately unassailable total of 313.
Vilas himself made a magnificent century, his first List A ton since February 2016 with his previous hundred before that coming back in 2011. It was his first in Lancashire colours and the South African Kolpak player was delighted.
“I’m lucky enough to have the privilege to play here so to get a hundred here and to get a hundred in a winning performance is something I’ll cherish for a long time,” Vilas said.
“Obviously you want to get that monkey off your back. It’s nice to get over the line and get that first hundred for the team.
“To contribute in a winning game is always nice as well. Jordan and I work well together.”
Vilas’ unbeaten 100 from 83 balls had come at a point where Lancashire had stalled somewhat. They had recovered well from losing Alex Davies for a duck in the second over with the score on two.
A 74-run stand between Karl Brown and Haseeb Hameed for the second wicket helped steady the ship, Hameed eventually perishing for a 43-ball 36.
From there wickets fell steadily, with Livingstone, Brown and Croft all departing to leave the score on 153-5 when Clark joined Vilas at the crease. With no more recognised batsmen left it was a high-pressure partnership, and one that saw Lancashire to victory.
It was their second win of the competition, having lost their first three games, making it possible that they will need to win all of their remaining fixtures to qualify.
Vilas believes the side are capable of achieving that aim and feels that things are starting to come together for the Lightning.
“We want to win every game anyway, so we know that we haven’t played well enough to win the first couple,” he said.
“Things are clicking at the moment and we are playing some really good cricket. We were close to something clicking as a team and I think just small little things in one-day cricket make a huge difference.
“We know that we are far from perfect. Each individual has to keep striving to be better.”
The partnership had given Lancashire momentum heading into the Worcestershire chase and they never looked like relinquishing it. A wicket apiece for James Anderson and Kyle Jarvis had the score at 11-2.
A 59-run partnership between Daryl Mitchell and Joe Clarke gave the Rapids hope, but when Parry dismissed Mitchell it was over to Clark.
His four quick wickets included a sensational catch from Anderson, to remove Clarke, and were enough to kill any Worcestershire hopes. 4-34 represent a List A best performance and, combined with a couple for Simon Kerrigan, saw Lancashire to an emphatic win.
“It was great to get a partnership of 150 plus and to contribute for the team to come away with a second win was really good,” Clark said.
“It’s tough to completely get 100% team performance with bat and ball but the last two games have been fantastic.
“My first two overs were a bit iffy but I found a bit of rhythm and got figures I was happy with in the end.
“We talk about starting slow and we always try to start fast and get an early win under out belt. Obviously we have started slow but as the results have gone we’ve improved and got better.”
Lancashire head to the seaside to face Derbyshire at Blackpool on Friday, seeking a third successive win to keep alive their chances of reaching the knockout phase.