Centurion Livingstone reminds England of potential as Lancashire canter to Blast victory...

Centurion Livingstone reminds England of potential as Lancashire canter to Blast victory over Derbyshire

Liam Livingstone. Pic via YouTube

Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone offered another reminder of his destructive T20 talent with a century to blow apart a helpless Derbyshire.

The opener struck exactly 100 from just 51 balls, a knock that featured 16 boundaries to guide the visitors to their target of 162 with just one wicket lost at the 3aaa County Ground.

He had able support too, in the form of Alex Davies who remained unbeaten on 50 not out, while Livingstone’s dismissal only prolonged the inevitable as Arron Lilley struck his one and only ball for four to win the match.

Derbyshire, meanwhile, never really got going with the bat and certainly didn’t with the ball, despite Wayne Madsen doing Wayne Madsen things with an unbeaten 76 en route to 161-4.

But it took Gary Wilson just one over to realise that tonight wasn’t going to be his night.

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat by Livingstone, early plans were already being torn up by the Derbyshire captain.

By the time in-form Ben Slater was run out in the first over via a direct hit from backward point, those ideas were now firmly out the window – with the attempted single bringing the air of a Strictly Come Dancing audition with partner Matt Critchley.

It takes two to tango, however, as Steven Croft did the business for the Lightning in the field.

Just as the night looked to be improving with Critchley striking some lovely boundaries, he proceeded to pick out cover off T20 debutant Toby Lester, leaving the Falcons 21-2 and in a spot of bother.

Critchley’s demise saw the bringing together of the old and new for the Falcons with the ever reliable, dependable and experienced Madsen to the crease along with Scotland international Callum MacLeod on his debut – England’s nemesis not too long ago.

Together they batted sensibly and consolidated, finishing the powerplay on 35-2, which could have been more if their sweetly timed strokes had found gaps instead of fielders.

The Lancashire powerplay could not have been more different if the payers had set out to make it so, with captain Livingstone and Davies finding the boundary with ease, effectively putting the game out of Derbyshire’s reach within the first six overs.

They finished the powerplay on 67 without loss but the Lightning openers did not finish there, continuing to take the attack to the beleaguered Derbyshire bowlers with Livingstone bringing up his 50 in the eighth over from 28 balls, including eight boundary fours and one monstrous six off Wahab Riaz.

Davies, whilst more measured in his approach, was still sparkling bringing up his 50 in 35 balls.

As Madsen and MacLeod consolidated and had to play low risk cricket through the middle overs, scoring in singles and twos interspersed with the occasional boundary, the Lancashire openers carried on regardless as the comparisons were drawn.

Bringing up their 100 in the ninth over in just 51 balls, they made boundary hitting look easy, taking Critchley for 18 in an over and Viljoen for 17 in his first over, refusing to take their feet off the pedal.

When Livingstone brought up his quite simply outstanding century in the 14th over off 49 balls with nine fours and seven sixes, with his second 50 coming up from just 21 balls, the game was all but over.

With one run needed for victory, the hammer was hovering closely above the coffin’s nails and even the wicket of Livingstone to a sublime catch by Wilson off Riaz only delayed victory by a ball as Lilley sealed the deal by nine wickets.

“The way our bowlers bowled set us up for that innings,” said Livingstone, whose side recovered from an opening defeat to Worcestershire.

“All the credit goes to them, they bowled a perfect length for that wicket. Toby (Lester) bowled beautifully and he’s been doing that for a long while now, he deserved his chance tonight and he took it with both hands.

“We needed to respond and we did it in the perfect way, that was close to a perfect performance.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hopefully Livingstone can get on the Test tours to spin paradises this winter. England need genuine spinners but the likes of Moeen and Livingstone who can bat and bowl spin, Livingstone being a good fielder too, would be sensible back-up options. Livingstone should be around the fringes of the white-ball side too but Malan, Denly and Clarke etc can’t get in either!

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