Mahmood bowls Lancashire to Roses victory

Mahmood bowls Lancashire to Roses victory

These Roses clashes are always a highlight of the domestic calendar, a match that all fans – even neutrals – look out for and look forward to. 

In all honesty, though, this one was a touch flat. Neither side really delivered any serious fireworks to ignite a crowd who just seemed rather subdued. Let’s put it down to the heat – it was scorching, in case anybody has failed to notice.

But even amongst that malaise, the game managed to produce a gripping finale, one where Lancashire held their nerve to come out on top at the home of their arch rivals.

Much of their success can be attributed to Saqib Mahmood. The 22-year-old starred in Lancashire’s Royal London One-Day Cup campaign earlier in the season and returned from injury to spearhead the attack at Headingley. 

His 3 for 33 undermined Yorkshire’s chase, striking early and then pegging the Vikings back when it looked as though they had seized control. 

Chasing 171, Adam Lyth fell in the first over for a duck – bowled by Steven Croft – before Mahmood bowled Tom Kohler-Cadmore for 14 in the second to leave Yorkshire 14 for two.

But despite those losses, David Willey and Harry Brook ensured the Vikings were ahead of the game, taking them to 77 for two in the ninth. 

Matt Parkinson’s dismissal of Willey for 32 was crucial, and Richard Gleeson followed it up by removing Brook for 30.

That was followed by what appeared a key moment. It was a mistake by the usually brilliant Croft, who failed to hold on to a skier from West Indian Nicholas Pooran – the man who almost went on to fire Yorkshire to victory.

Pooran was on eight at the time and the dangerous left-hander soon made Lancashire pay. 

He smashed 16 off the 16th over by Parkinson to put Yorkshire back in the box seat. Gary Ballance came and went with no impact on the contest, but the hosts needed a very gettable 35 from 18 balls. 

Enter Mahmood once again. He sent Pooran’s stumps scattering to essentially win it for the Lightning. He trapped Dom Bess for a duck in the same over and, despite some late hope offer by Mathew Pillans and Jordan Thompson, it was Lancashire who eased over the line by nine runs. 

Glen Chapple started the contest with a surprise, a touch of subterfuge some would say, as Liam Livingstone returned from injury despite not being listed in the squad. 

He and Alex Davies got Lancashire off to a good start, making 25 apiece, but it was the stand between Glenn Maxwell and Dane Vilas that was the backbone of the innings. 

Their 65-run partnership featured Vilas dumping one into the football ground. Yorkshire pegged the innings back well, but as it turned out, 170 on the board was ample for Lancashire. 

It was not, in truth, a Roses battle for the ages, but Lancashire will not care a jot as they head back across the Pennines with the points in their pocket.

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