Steven Croft's cracking innings inspires Lancashire to fourth successive one-day win at Durham
Graham Onions haunted his former club with a late cameo that guided Lancashire to a three-wicket win over Durham in Gosforth, their fourth straight win in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The home side were grateful to a career-best innings from Alex Lees that guided them to a competitive total of 229 from their 50 overs. Steven Croft took command of the visitors’ chase after the early loss of Keaton Jennings. The 34-year-old fell one short of a century and his dismissal sparked a collapse that set up a tense finale. However, Onions played the decisive knock, blasting two sixes in the 48th over which provided the momentum for Lancashire to close out the victory. Durham were inserted and Saqib Mahmood made the breakthrough in the fourth over, removing Graham Clark’s middle stump. Scott Steel struggled to break the shackles due to tight bowling from Mahmood and James Anderson. The pressure got to the opener and was run out after slipping by Jennings.Cameron Bancroft and Lees began to form a solid partnership, the latter smashing a huge six off Anderson. Their stand was broken at 41 by the off-spin of Maxwell, when the Durham skipper played a simple return catch.Michael Richardson and Jack Burnham fell cheaply, while Liam Trevaskis was pinned lbw for 16 by Stephen Parry, leaving the home side 104-6.Lees held firm and he posted his fourth half-century in a row in the One-Day Cup. Ben Raine proved to be a valuable foil as the two players formed the first 50 partnership of the innings. Raine hit Anderson for 11 in one over, including two boundaries, but was then dismissed by Maxwell. Matthew Potts added 22 valuable runs.Lees took the decision to accelerate after Potts fell caught behind to Anderson. The 26-year-old recorded his second List A century from 119 balls before dispatching Anderson over the top for two sixes. He made a career-best 115 before he was caught on the rope by Rob Jones off Mahmood to end the innings. Lancashire’s lost Jennings in the first over when he was run out by Burnham at backward point for only a single. Croft got the innings off and running with three boundaries in a row off Matt Salisbury. Croft and Haseeb Hameed put on 50 for the second wicket but Raine broke the partnership when he trapped the latter lbw for 17.Croft passed 50 for the third time in six matches. Maxwell was steady but his attempt to cut loose cost him his wicket, bowled for 26 by Trevaskis. Lancashire built again as Dane Vilas joined Croft in a stand of 54. Raine removed Vilas for 20 when he was caught on the fence by Burnham. However, Croft kept Lancashire on course and was on the verge of scoring his second century of the season when he was pinned lbw by Salisbury for 99. Croft’s dismissal caused nerves in the Lancashire ranks. Josh Bohannon and Stephen Parry both lost their composure to put the pressure on the visitors. But former Durham man Onions blasted two late sixes off Raine to ensure the Lancashire claimed the win with four balls to spare. The Red Rose stand third in the North Group.