Lancashire Lightning see off Leicestershire Foxes and now face Essex Eagles in the Vitality Blast T20 last eight
Lancashire Lightning beat Leicestershire Foxes by five wickets at Old Trafford to secure top spot in the Vitality Blast 20 North group.
Needing 143 to win, the home side got home with eight balls to spare, thanks largely to a well-judged innings by Glenn Maxwell, who added an unbeaten 29 off 31 balls to the wicket, catch and runout he had collected in the Leicestershire innings.
Maxwell partnered Keaton Jennings in the unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 22 which helped Lancashire to their eighth T20 win of this season’s campaign.
Earlier in the evening, the Foxes’ innings had got off to a fine start as Mark Cosgrove helped himself to 39 runs off 19 balls before being bowled by Steven Croft.
Arron Lilley then cut his first ball to Josh Bohannon at cover point but the only result of this fine stroke was that Harry Swindells was run out by half the length of the pitch after a dreadful mix-up with Lilley.
Nevertheless, Leicestershire were 52-2 after their powerplay and the following four overs were all bowled by spinners.
The next blow of consequence was struck by Matt Parkinson who had Colin Ackermann caught by James Faulkner for 21 as the visitors reached the midpoint of their innings on 77-3.
Lilley gradually warmed to his task on his former home ground, but when he had made 28, the former Lancashire all-rounder pulled Faulkner straight to Maxwell at deep midwicket.
The remainder of the Leicestershire innings was something of an anti-climax as the home spinners strangled the scoring rate and three more batsmen were run out as they reached 142-9.
Parkinson took the bowling honours with 2-24 while Maxwell finished with 1-22.
Lancashire’s pursuit of 143 began well as Liam Livingstone and Alex Davies put on 54 in 5.1 overs, both openers hitting sixes before Lilley held onto a steepler off Ben Mike to get rid of Livingstone for 28.
Steven Croft (5) followed soon afterwards but Davies continued to take heavy toll of Dieter Klein, hitting the South African for a second six before he was bowled for 39.
Lancashire skipper Dane Vilas (6) carelessly pulled Will Davis to deep square leg but Maxwell and Faulkner looked to be taking Lancashire home before Faulkner (11) was LBW to Lilley.
However, Maxwell and Jennings settled things with some well-judged strokes, seeing Lancashire to 143-5 with eight balls remaining.
Victory means Lancashire have a quarter-final tie against Essex Eagles next Wednesday, September 4 (7pm).