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Finn Allen makes his mark as Lancashire continue winning start

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 10 June 2021 13:50
Lancashire 172 for 8 (Allen 73*, Griffiths 4-24) beat Leicestershire 156 for 5 (Steel 54*) by 16 runs
Lancashire Lightning's New Zealand opener, Finn Allen, made an unbeaten 73 off 51 balls as his side made it two wins out of two in this year's Vitality Blast with a 16-run victory over Leicestershire Foxes.
Allen batted through his side's innings of 172 for 8 and that total proved just too many for the visitors, who finished on 156 for 5 despite Scott Steel's 54 not out.
Having opted to bat first, Lancashire skipper Dane Vilas saw his openers, Allen and Liam Livingstone, score 31 runs off the first three overs but that healthy progress was ended by Gavin Griffiths, who dismissed Livingstone for 25 and Alex Davies for a golden duck with his first two balls.
Griffiths completed a rare double-wicket maiden but Lancashire's brisk run-rate was maintained by Jos Buttler, who made 22 off 16 balls before he was caught at long off by Ben Mike off Colin Ackermann.
Vilas made 16 and Steven Croft included a straight six in his 21 but Griffiths returned to dismiss both Croft and Luke Wood and it was left to Allen to take Lancashire to a defendable total. He succeeded in this task, reaching his 50 off 41 balls and he celebrated his half-century with a straight six off the Afghan fast bowler Naveen ul Haq.
Griffths was the most successful Foxes bowler, taking a career-best four for 22 but Ackermann returned his customary fine figures off 2 for 22.
Needing to score at 8.65 runs per over, the Foxes took 47 runs off the first 4.3 overs before Josh Inglis was bowled for a 19-ball 34 when attempting to reverse-sweep Danny Lamb. Arron Lilley holed out at deep midwicket for four in Parkinson's first over and the three Lancashire spinners began to control the game.
Livingstone dismissed Ackermann and Tom Hartley's superb figures off one for 18 included Lewis Hill's wicket. The Foxes needed 73 off the last six overs but Steel and Rishi Patel maintained the pursuit, both batsmen taking sixes off Lamb's third over.
With 42 needed off three overs Patel hit Parkinson for a straight six before being caught at long on by Croft for a 17-ball 32 when he tried to repeat the shot. Steel and Patel's 52-run partnership off 31 balls left the Foxes with a hope of scoring the 32 needed off the final two overs but Lancashire's seamers held their nerve.
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