Middlesex bowlers lead way in win at Lancashire

Middlesex's Luke Hollman in action during the Vitality Blast T20

Middlesex's Luke Hollman in action during the Vitality Blast T20 - Credit: PA

Middlesex’s young bowlers just about held their nerve to secure a six-run win over Lancashire in a magnificent Royal London Cup match at Emirates Old Trafford.

Defending 257, the visitors were indebted to 20-year-old leg spinner Luke Hollman, who took four for 56, but they had to withstand a late assault from Danny Lamb, whose 21-ball 33 looked as though it might win the game.

But Lamb was bowled by Ethan Bamber when four balls remained in the game, ending a thrilling contest. 

And Hollman said: "That was an unbelievable game of cricket. Lancashire, as you would expect, fought very hard but Sam Robson batted very well, as did Martin Andersson at the end to get us up to a competitive total.

“We’ve actually played some pretty good cricket this year but we haven’t managed to win the key phases of games. But we are starting to win those and that’s being reflected in victories.

"The bottle Ethan had to defend eight off six balls and then to bowl the slower ball that dismissed Lamb was unreal.

“I was battling with myself in those first two overs but the boys got round me and fortunately it was my day and Thilan is earning wickets for people at the other end at the moment.

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“To have overseas players with international experience like Peter Handscomb playing in this competition is going to raise the standard.

"The opportunities this competition gives to younger cricketers are invaluable. The less experienced players are going to learn important lessons that will benefit them throughout their careers in the game.”

Middlesex’s total owed much to Sam Robson’s 81-ball 76 and also to Martin Andersson’s partnerships with tailenders Thilan Wallalawita and Bamber that saw 67 runs added for the last two wickets in less than 10 overs.

Lancashire’s reply began badly as both Josh Bohannon and Luke Wells fell to Bamber and James Harris for single figure scores but Keaton Jennings and Rob Jones had put on 63 in some comfort before Jennings injured his right leg when setting off to complete a leg bye.

Following treatment he was helped from the field in obvious pain but Jones and Steven Croft added a further 77 before Croft fell to Hollman for 41.

George Balderson then hit Josh de Caires for two sixes over the short leg-side but both he and Jones were dismissed by Hollman, whose eighth over was crucial in deciding the outcome.

Jones was caught by de Caires at long-off for a career-best List A score of 72 but that only prompted Lamb’s defiant assault that nearly brought Lancashire a famous victory. Jennings’ injury prevented him coming out to bat when Lancashire’s ninth wicket fell.   

Middlesex host Kent on Friday (11am).