Lancashire crush Leicestershire in One-Day Cup romp
Saqib Mahmood became the first Lancashire bowler to take five wickets in successive List A games as his side overwhelmed Leicestershire by nine wickets in a one-sided One-Day Cup match at Old Trafford.
Following his six-wicket return against Northamptonshire on Wednesday, Mahmood bagged five for 14 against a visiting team which contained five former Lancashire players.
Leicestershire were bowled out for 80 in 37 overs, their lowest List A total against Lancashire, with only Harry Dearden and Ben Mike reaching double figures.
Lancashire took only 19 overs to secure their victory, Haseeb Hameed making 29 not out and Steven Croft finishing unbeaten on 37 after the pair had put on an unbroken 73 for the second wicket.
The only Lancashire batsman dismissed was Keaton Jennings who drilled a back-foot drive off Dieter Klein to the right of Mark Cosgrove at cover-point, only to see the Australian take a brilliant reflex catch.
The conclusion of a game which had featured a dozen maidens but only one six was in sharp contrast to the beginning of the context four-and-a-half hours earlier.
Bowling straight and very quickly, Mahmood took his first wicket in the fourth over when he brought one back off the seam to have Cosgrove leg before wicket for a single.
In the next over he extracted enough bounce from the Old Trafford wicket to take the edge of Paul Horton’s bat and Jennings pouched the catch at first slip.
Colin Ackermann was the next to go when he was bowled through the gate for two and Dearden followed for 20 in the twelfth over when he fished at a ball outside the off stump but only succeeded in giving a low catch to Jennings.
Liam Hurt joined the party to reduce Leicestershire to 42 for five, although Lewis Hill’s wild slash was not a shot he will recall with much fondness.
Lancashire’s Dane Vilas was not complaining, though – he took the catch behind the stumps and decided to keep Mahmood bowling from the Statham End.
Hurt then had Arron Lilley, another returning Lancastrian, caught down the leg side for a single, although the batsman’s disappointment at Paul Baldwin’s decision was evident.
At that point Leicestershire were 46 for six and Mahmood was removed from the attack with figures of 7-2-12-4.
Jimmy Anderson enjoyed his only success when Callum Parkinson edged him to Vilas but the England seamer clutched an outstanding one-handed diving catch at mid-on to give Mahmood his fifth wicket when Lewis Hill miscued a pull after batting 52 minutes for 18.
That wicket fell three overs after the departure of Klein, who was caught at slip off Glenn Maxwell and the innings ended in the 37th over when Rob Jones bowled Gavin Griffiths for four to end his last-wicket partnership of 12 with Chris Wright.
The only gloomy note for the home side was struck when Matt Parkinson was forced to leave the field with an injured finger after stopping a fierce return drive from Mike.
Mahmood said: “It’s nice to pick where we left off on Wednesday and get another win. The games come thick and fast now and we hope to take that into Tuesday’s game at Durham now. When you’ve had a few days off you can lose a bit of rhythm but this morning it just felt like we hadn’t been gone anywhere.
“Jimmy Anderson gave me the choice of ends today, so I felt like I had to make the most of it. There was a bit in the wicket up top and I felt we put the ball in the right places. I thought Jimmy would bowl from his own end but he gave me the choice, so I felt like I had to pull my finger out.
“I’m just in that little bubble where games are coming thick and fast. Even when I was on four wickets, I wasn’t thinking about the fifth. It was a good day all round.
“We aren’t looking too far ahead. Durham first, they’re going well this year and it’s on an outground and we’ll see what challenges that has.”