A moment of controversy marred a thrilling last-ball finish to the Roses encounter at Headingley that ultimately saw the visitors emerge victorious by just one run, simultaneously ending their two-game losing streak in this competition and their rivals’ two-game unbeaten run.
With Yorkshire’s chase of 312 looking tight, Glenn Maxwell was utterly convinced that he had run Gary Ballance out on 58. The umpires disagreed (incorrectly as still images from the live stream would suggest). Words followed: first from Maxwell, then the umpires. Ballance continued.
Maxwell visibly enjoyed his revenge overs later, though, when he clung on to a crucial catch at point to send Ballance on his way for a fine but ultimately futile 72 off 64 balls.
In the morning, Lancashire stuttered to 116-4 thanks to the solid glovework of Jonny Tattersall and a Josh Poysden direct hit, but they then built a solid foundation with a 120-run partnership between Steven Croft and Rob Jones. Croft looked set to become the first Lancashire batsman to score consecutive one-day hundreds since Paul Horton in 2009 but he lost Jones to a miscued pull off Tim Bresnan, and then feathered an edge on 97 to become Tattersall’s fourth victim.
Despite never having reached fifty in a List A game before, Josh Bohannon let loose at the death with some impressive hitting. Bresnan was a particular favourite victim, and Bohannon took apart the experienced seamer’s final over for 22, including a mammoth six to bring up his fifty.
While 311-6 was probably below par given the pitch and conditions, Bohannon had at least given the Red Rose a fighting chance – they would need every single one of his runs.
A brisk start from Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Adam Lyth threatened to make short work of the visitors’ total, but a graceful diving catch from Keaton Jennings, and a painful 12-ball one for David Willey put Lancashire in a promising position after ten overs.
Kohler-Cadmore batted on through the loss of Harry Brook, reaching an impressive fifty with a grand, lofted six off Glenn Maxwell’s off-spin. With the required rate creeping towards nine, Kohler-Cadmore tucked into Saqib Mahmood, while Ballance greeted Croft’s first off break with a dismissive six over square leg.
Ballance continued to enjoy Croft’s gentle off breaks, plundering three straight fours to reach his half-century. Croft may have been consoled after the run-out incident when Kohler-Cadmore also fell three short of his hundred when Mahmood blasted his stumps away in spectacular fashion.
Maxwell caught Ballance and then Bresnan to put Lancashire in the driving seat, but Tattersall refused to let the game go and his defiant 49 gave the home fans a reason to cheer in the fading Easter light well into the last over. He was run out attempting a bye – and this time, the umpires made no mistake.
With Yorkshire needing three to win off the last ball, Poysden’s stumps were also broken as he dived, heartbreakingly short of the run that would have sealed their second consecutive tie.