Buttler blast steers Lancs to win

Buttler - rapid-fire knockButtler - rapid-fire knock
Buttler - rapid-fire knock
Key contributions from Jos Buttler and Stephen Parry led Lancashire to an opening 42-run Royal London One-Day Cup victory over Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Buttler hit a typically creative 91 off 73 balls to underpin the Lightning’s 296 for eight, which also included half-centuries for Martin Guptill (50) and captain Steven Croft (67).

Left-arm spinner Parry, who has also played alongside Buttler in England’s one-day team since the last RL50 campaign, then put the squeeze on the chase with an excellent three for 43 from 10 overs as Warwickshire finished with 254 for nine.

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Third-wicket pair Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell had put their side on course to reach 297.

They had taken the score from 85 for two in the 19th over to 174 for two in the 35th on an excellent Emirates Old Trafford surface. But Parry, in particular, and seamer Nathan Buck turned the screw with some tight bowling.

Parry had Trott superbly caught at cover by Croft before later getting Laurie Evans in identical fashion.

He had earlier got Will Porterfield caught at mid-wicket by the same man for 40, with three of Croft’s four catches diving efforts.

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From the start of the 33rd over to the end of the 42nd, Warwickshire had slipped from 163 for two to 198 for five, with Jordan Clark also bowling Tim Ambrose.

When he departed, the equation was an unlikely 100 off 51 balls.

Trott, who passed 9,000 List A runs in the process, posted 66 and Bell went on to make 73 - but the innings of the day belonged to Buttler, who hit 10 fours and a six.

Remarkably, it was Buttler’s List A debut for Lancashire despite joining from Somerset ahead of 2014, and it was his highest score for the county in both forms of limited overs cricket.

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There was only one century partnership in the match as Buttler and Croft - 67 off 70 - shared 122 inside 19 overs for Lancashire’s fifth wicket to advance from 118 for four after 24 overs, and it was a fifth-wicket record stand for the Lightning against Warwickshire.

Both men hit a six, straight in Buttler’s case and over long-on for Croft and Buttler was typically inventive, scooping Boyd Rankin for successive boundaries at one stage, while the latter finished with four for 66 from 10 overs.

Buck later got Bell caught and bowled off a top-edge at the start of the 48th over as he attempted to cut loose with Warwickshire needing 57 off the last three.

The hosts, who had four debutants in total, bowled extremely well with Buck finishing with two for 53 from 10. Tom Smith also returned three for 45, including two wickets in the last over.

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