Lancashire Lightning Make a Flying Start to their Vitality Blast Campaign

Lancashire Lightning Make a Flying Start to their Vitality Blast Campaign

There might not be many people outside of Lancashire that know about Tom Aspinwall. There have been some clues that he may be the next fast bowler off the ranks at Emirates Old Trafford. The young pace bowler took four for 18 in his first t20 game against Durham to skittle the hosts for 75 in 14.3 overs in a fantastic night for the Red Rose team, as they won by nine wickets with 72 balls to spare. 

Durham certainly are aware of who Aspinwall is by now; he took five for 41 against them at Blackpool earlier this month in the County Championship, and now, in his first t20 game for Lancashire Lightning, he struck with his first ball as Graham Clarke, on ten, chipped it to Chris Green, one of five debutants for Lightning in t20 cricket. 

Aspinwall was introduced into the attack with Durham already 17 for two, Alex Lees caught by Aspinwall of all people to depart for four to Luke Wood overlooked by England and Ollie Robinson bowled for one by Green, giving the youngster the freedom to run in and bowl fast.  

Michael Edwards was the pick of the wickets, spearing in at his stumps; all Edwards could do was look back on the wreckage of his stumps as he made the long walk back after his one-ball innings. 

The catching was another aspect of the Lancashire evening, and it was at the top level. Jack Blaterwick would usually have picked up the catch of the day when, off his own bowling, he dived at full stretch to dismiss Ben Raine for 12. 

Step up Steven Croft, the Lightning captain; Blatherwick was the bowler again when Matthew Potts tried to clear the long-off boundary; it looked like he had cleared Croft, who had to turn and run to chase after the ball, all the while the ball seemed to hang in the air in slow-motion as the 39-year-old chased it down and grabbing it mid-dive and landing with a skid. The fielders all ran over to congratulate their leader. 

On another day, Blatherwick would have returned with the plaudits; his three for 14 from three overs caused Durham nothing but problems.  

It is difficult to guess what Durham could have done differently. Their hosts didn’t put a foot wrong, and it carried on when Lancashire batted. Luke Wells, who was dropped and then released by Sussex because he didn’t score quickly enough, continued to show that as a poor move by the South Coast side. 

Wells flcked a six out of the ground off Potts in the second over and smashed a six through mid-wicket when the bowler returned to bowl the last over of the powerplay. At the end of the sixth over, Lightning were 57 for one with 19 runs needed from 84 balls. 

George Bell was keeping Wells company while the left-hander was finding the boundary with ease, and the pair raced to their fifty partnership in just 28 balls and were keen to add more. 

Wells’ unbeaten innings of 49 included six fours and three sixes and came from just 25 balls. While the tall opening batter would have been disappointed not to have reached the personal milestone, he would have enjoyed the overall team performance more. 

Durham will have much to think about and maybe conclude it was just a bad day at the office and ultimately beaten by the better team. 


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.