One-Day Cup: Lancashire win at Edgbaston to leave Warwickshire bottom of group
|Royal London One-Day Cup, Edgbaston|
|Lancashire 351-8 (50 overs): Croft 127, Vilas 55, Hameed 46, Brown 37; Patel 3-48|
|Warwickshire 325 (48.3 overs): Clarke 76, Ambrose 68, Barker 34, Bell 34|
|Lancashire (2 pts) beat Warwickshire by 26 runs|
Lancashire skipper Steven Croft smashed a List A best 127 off just 88 balls to earn his side their first One-Day Cup group win of 2017, over Warwickshire.
But a fourth straight defeat for Ashley Giles' Bears leaves the One-Day Cup holders now bottom of the North Group, with almost no hope of qualifying.
Croft was aided by Dane Vilas (55) as Lancashire piled up 351-8, including 33 off one over from Oliver Hannon-Dalby.
The Bears then replied with 325 to lose by 26 runs in the penultimate over.
Rikki Clarke (76) and Tim Ambrose (68) weighed in with half-centuries, while Keith Barker and Hannon-Dalby gave their side hope at the end with some lusty blows in a 27-run last-wicket stand.
But, despite being without the injured Ryan McLaren, in their first meeting with former boss Giles since he returned from Old Trafford, Lancashire had already taken full advantage of Edgbaston's shortened boundaries.
Croft slammed eight sixes and eight fours, while England Test opener Haseeb Hameed also twice cleared the ropes in his 48.
Native Lancastrian Barker came in for unusually rough treatment, his nine overs going for 86, while youngster Aaron Thomason went for 32 off three overs and Hannon-Dalby 77 from eight overs.
That culminated in 10 balls of mayhem in the 45th over bowled by Hannon-Dalby, from which Croft and Jordan Clark shared four sixes and a four between them, amidst three wides and a no ball.
Lancashire, who still have four qualifying games left, now host high-flying Worcestershire at Old Trafford on Wednesday, when Warwickshire go to Derby for a day/night game.
Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton told BBC WM:
"It's another loss and a difficult one to take. It really came down to a couple of overs with the short boundary which turned the game on its head.
"Amby and Clarkey batted really well to keep us in touching distance but we were chasing too many again. We did so much right but are just not putting the final pieces into place.
"Our intensity in the field has been spot on but we have got to start putting games together with both bat and ball."
Lancashire captain Steven Croft told BBC Radio Manchester:
"It was great to get that first win on the board. Hopefully we can get some momentum to take into the back end of the group stage. I'd have thought we'll probably have to win all our remaining games to qualify.
"In the past we have won, lost, won, lost and relied on other teams' results and we don't want to be relying on that so we are going to have go get on a roll and win them all.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my innings. The first 50 was quite pedestrian then I opened the shoulders at the end. There was a very short boundary on one side. We had a game plan to go hard at one end and it paid off."