Bob Willis Trophy: Young Lancashire spinners seal win over Derbyshire

Jack Morley
Jack Morley was making his first-class debut for Lancashire
Bob Willis Trophy, Aigburth (day four):
Lancashire 219 & 356-6 dec: Davies 86, Jennings 81, Balderson 61*, Lamb 50*; Critchley 4-126
Derbyshire 195 & 202: Reece 69, McKiernan 52;Morley 4-62
Lancashire (20 pts) beat Derbyshire (3 pts) by 178 runs

Derbyshire endured a calamitous final-day afternoon session as Lancashire secured a resounding 178-run Bob Willis Trophy win in Liverpool.

The visitors lost six wickets for 17 runs in a frenetic half-hour after lunch, to slump from 118-2 to 135-8, thanks to young Red Rose left arm spinners Jack Morley and Tom Hartley.

The young Lancashire spin twins twirled their way throughout the majority of a sun-drenched afternoon, Morley finishing with 4-64 (and match figures of 5-73) and Hartley 3-79.

Derbyshire finished second in North Group, 13 points behind Yorkshire, with Lancashire eight points further back in third.

Not even a brave rearguard action from Mattie McKiernan and Sam Conners could save Derbyshire, eventually being bowled out for 202 - 178 runs short of the nominal target of 381.

The determined tail-enders shared a ninth wicket stand of 60 in 36 overs which frustrated Lancashire for 107 minutes.

McKiernan had time to reach his maiden first-class half century, but he was last out when Danny Lamb trapped him in front for 52 to finish with 3-12 - and match figures of 7-72.

Before their afternoon collapse, Derbyshire had progressed nicely as Luis Reece reached his half century off 127 balls before becoming Morley's first victim, caught attempting to sweep at slip for 69.

Leus du Plooy was trapped in front for 34 by Hartley, who then found Fynn Hudson-Prentice's edge.

Matt Critchley's off stump was uprooted by Morley, Anuj Dal adjudged lbw off Hartley, then Harvey Hosein's lbw dismissal to Morley ended a miserable session for Derbyshire.

Earlier in the day, Derbyshire had lunched on 56-2 after an especially productive morning for Lamb who continued his fine game by reaching his maiden first class half-century as Lancashire added 43 in just over five overs to declared on 356-6, teenager George Balderson finishing on 61 not out.

Lamb then took up where he left off, removing Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen before coming back to get the final wicket.

Lancashire spinner Tom Hartley:

"It feels amazing. We would have liked to have won it a bit earlier but it makes it that much sweeter when you win towards the end.

"Jack and I have been playing in the 2nd XI together for quite a long time. We are always talking with each other at the end of an over. We are good mates off the field so it is great when we see each other do well."

Lancashire spinner Jack Morley:

"This is what dreams are made of. Just to be out there made it a great debut. I only found out on the morning of the game that I'd be playing and that was surreal, but you always have to be ready to go

"There were a few nerves tingling and a few butterflies but we stuck to our basics. The conditions were in our favour and I just tried to just keep doing what I do best."

Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman:

"For most of the game we have found ourselves well behind but the fight and the resolve and the skill of the guys in the middle and lower order was a great testament to the togetherness of the squad. Unfortunately we still lost and we were definitely the second best team this week.

"We're disappointed to lose here and miss out on a final at Lord's but we have played some really good cricket.

"Although we are respected as a team externally people wouldn't have thought we'd be in a position to qualify for the final going into the last game so we are pleased that we have played some good cricket, won some games and learnt more as individuals and a squad."

Match report supplied by PA Media.

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