Saqib Mahmood's sizzling 'six-for' fires Lancashire to one-day win over Northamptonshire
Saqib Mahmood became only the fourth Lancashire player to take six wickets in a List A innings and the first in 21 years as he set up a commanding Royal London One-Day Cup win over Northamptonshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old returned a career best 6-37 as the Steelbacks, invited to bat, were bowled out for 269 in 50 overs.He then watched openers Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings hit 65 and 63 respectively on the way to 164-2 in the 29th over when rain arrived, with Lancashire winning by 45 runs on Duckworth Lewis Stern.The Red Rose have now followed two North Group defeats with two wins.Colin Croft, David Hughes and current coach Glen Chapple (twice) have all taken ‘six-fors’ for Lancashire, the last being Chapple at Yorkshire in 1998.Mahmood struck three times with the new ball to leave the score at 26-3, so a 270 total was a triumph for a Northants side who have lost three out of four.They were boosted by half-centuries for Ricardo Vasconcelos (50), Rob Keogh and West Indies captain Jason Holder, who received treatment to his left leg early in his innings and did not field.Keogh’s 66 off 97 balls did not include a boundary, while Holder hit seven fours and two sixes in 72 off 58 as he looked in no obvious discomfort.They shared 89 inside 16 overs for the sixth wicket to recover from 103-5 before former Red Rose all-rounder Luke Procter gave the visitors further impetus with 36.Mahmood gave Lancashire the ideal start by bowling Josh Cobb.He then had Richard Levi caught at deep square-leg and Alex Wakely brilliantly caught behind one-handed by Dane Vilas. Vasconcelos and Keogh steadied with a 76-run fourth-wicket stand before Keogh and Holder united.Holder hit sixes over mid-wicket either side of reaching 50 off 47 balls before falling to Mahmood trying to repeat the dose. The catch was an outstanding relay effort on the mid-wicket boundary between Glenn Maxwell and Rob Jones, the latter diving to make the catch at the second attempt.Maxwell then took two catches at the death, including Ben Sanderson o hand Mahmood his sixth.In reply, Jennings and Hameed shared an opening 130 inside 24 overs only for the former to be run out by a direct hit from Saif Zaib at square-leg.Jennings reached a run-a-ball 50 and Hameed’s came off 60 balls before Maxwell hit successive leg-side sixes off Zaib’s left-arm spin.Hameed was caught behind off Procter before Vilas hit two boundaries in three balls just before the rain arrived. Maxwell was unbeaten on 20.Mahmood said: “That was a great day. It’s probably not the way we wanted it to finish with the rain but a win’s a win. “We wanted to bowl first knowing the rain was around and we could control the rate in the second innings, and I thought we did that. We played the game we wanted to play.“The last couple of years I’ve just missed out through injury, so I’m just trying to make up for the lost time. “It’s coming out well for me. If anything, I tried to not try too hard today. Maybe because I was a bit more relaxed they came out that bit quicker for me.”Lancashire are next in action at home to Leicestershire on Sunday.