Lancashire 183 for 7 (David 60, Brown 3-35) beat Worcestershire 171 for 8 (Munro 53, Gleeson 5-33) by 12 runs

Tim David hit Lancashire’s joint-second fastest T20 fifty and Richard Gleeson took a career-best 5 for 33 as Lancashire defeated Worcestershire by 12 runs to secure their first victory in this year’s Vitality Blast.

David made 60 off 25 balls to help the home side post exactly 183 for the second successive match and that proved too many for the visitors, who finished on 171 for 8, despite Colin Munro‘s defiant 53. The defeat is Worcestershire’s third in this year’s Blast.

The home side scored 59 runs in their powerplay but lost three valuable wickets in doing so. After bludgeoning 29 off 12 balls, Phil Salt attempted to pull the sixth ball of Brown’s first over but only skied the ball to third man where Morris took a superb catch.

Even better was to follow for the Pears in Brown’s next over. Having made 16, Keaton Jennings pulled the first delivery straight and hard to Jake Libby at deep square leg and five balls later Dane Vilas miscued a drive to Jack Haynes at mid-off.

That tumble of wickets left Lancashire on 54 for 3 after five overs, leaving Steven Croft and Liam Livingstone to repair and consolidate the innings. However, the result was that only 23 runs came and no boundaries were hit in the next five overs.

That quieter period ended when Livingstone lifted Brett D’Oliveira for a huge straight six but Croft was caught at long-on by Morris off Josh Baker for 22 in the next over and, after hitting another six, this time off Ed Barnard, Livingstone perished at deep midwicket for 26 when he hit the same bowler straight to D’Oliveira. Danny Lamb was lbw to Barnard’s next ball, leaving Lancashire on 98 for 6 in the 13th over.

Undaunted, David whacked D’Oliveira for two sixes in an over and Baker down the ground for two more boundaries as he moved into top gear in a couple of deliveries. Luke Wood supported David well and his six off Pat Brown brought up the fifty partnership for the seventh wicket.

Successive maximums off Matthew Waite brought up David’s personal half-century but the Singaporean-Australian finisher was dismissed in the 20th over, caught by Barnard at deep midwicket off Morris.

By then, though, he and Wood had put on 81, which is Lancashire’s highest seventh-wicket partnership in T20 cricket. Brown was the most successful Worcestershire bowler with 3 for 35 but Baker bowled well to finish with 1 for 30.

The Rapids’ pursuit of 183 when Ed Pollock, after hitting Gleeson for a massive six, holed out to the same bowler in the second over, caught by Livingstone at deep backward square leg for 12.

Haynes played on to the same bowler, also for 12, in the fifth over and Worcestershire ended their powerplay on 51 for 2. D’Oliveira sought to build on this foundation when he hit Parkinson for successive sixes only for the bowler to exact immediate revenge when he accepted a tame return catch.

Worcestershire needed exactly 100 runs off their last ten overs an 70 off six as Lancashire’s spinners throttled the run rate. But Munro and Libby snapped the shackles as 20 runs came off Lamb’s second over, thus putting the outcome in doubt once more.

Munro reached his second successive fifty for the Pears off 32 balls and a manageable 33 were required off the final three overs. However, Gleeson bowled Libby for 33 and trapped Munro leg-before in the space of four balls and those dismissals effectively decided the issue.

Ben Cox was run out for three as his side’s position became more desperate. Waite was caught by Jennings off Wood for a first ball duck and the innings ended in anti-climax as the Pears finished 12 runs short.