Ashley Giles: Lancashire coach hails duo's impact in T20 Blast win

Ashley Giles
Former England left-arm spinner Ashley Giles has been Lancashire's head coach since October 2014

Lancashire coach Ashley Giles hailed the impact of Gavin Griffiths and George Edwards after they lifted their first Twenty20 trophy on Saturday.

Debutant Griffiths, 21, took a crucial 2-23 in the final against Northants.

Meanwhile, Edwards took two wickets in two balls to help Lancs to their semi-final victory over Hampshire.

"The big advantage was no-one had seen Gavin at all and George had played a bit at the start of the tournament," Giles told BBC Sport.

"Before the semi-finals when the team was read out, you saw some of the Hampshire guys turn around and say 'who are they?' and I think that helps.

"We were pretty sure George had the bottle - as he had shown it in a big game against Yorkshire - and Gavin was a bit of an unknown quantity."

With Northants requiring 36 from the last three overs and Josh Cobb and Shahid Afridi's fifth-wicket partnership having passed 50, Griffiths returned.

In just his second T20 game, the seamer was handed the ball for the 18th and 20th overs after James Faulkner suffered a dislocated finger.

Griffiths kept his cool after Alex Davies put down the simplest of catches to get rid of Cobb to claim the decisive scalp of Afridi off the next ball of the over.

Lancashire celebrate winning the T20 Blast
Lancashire captain Steven Croft said he felt "relieved" to win the T20 Blast on their sixth appearance at finals day

"Most of these big days are about holding your nerve and mental strength and he showed there that he has got bags of it," Giles said.

And, captain Steven Croft added: "It's a bit of risk bringing someone in for his debut on finals day but Griffiths did a great job.

"He is good under pressure and is a good death bowler and he proved that today."

Croft, who has played an incredible 118 T20 matches in a row, admitted that there was an over-riding sense of relief at finally getting his hand on the T20 trophy.

Lancashire have won the most T20 group stage matches of any county and had previously reached finals day a remarkable five times, without any success.

"It has been so long and every pre-season we get the same question: 'Are we going to win it this year?'," Croft explained.

"I am so relieved we've finally got our name on the trophy."

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