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Lancashire total proves too much for Worcestershire
Updated 7:44pm Sunday 18th May 2014 in Sport
PAUL Horton and Tom Smith's 128-run stand allowed Lancashire to edge to a 12-run Twenty20 Blast victory over Worcestershire at Old Trafford last night.
When Lancashire posted 194-3, Horton and Smith could have been forgiven for expecting a solid victory.
But Worcestershire had other ideas, maintaining a brisk pace throughout and falling just 13 runs short of an impressive turnaround result.
Worcestershire reached 182-5 in their 20 overs - with little more than half-a-run-an-over between the two sides.
Lancashire claimed their first victory of the tournament after losing out by 33 runs to Nottinghamshire on Friday night when winless Worcestershire also fell at Durham.
Horton's unbeaten 71 from 43 balls steered Lancashire to an imposing total.
Opener Smith fired 74 from 53 balls to set the tone before Saeed Ajmal had him stumped by wicketkeeper Ben Cox.
Karl Brown had fallen first for 28 with Charles Morris forcing him into an edge to Cox.
Two balls later, the sequence was repeated with Steven Croft being drawn into nicking one to Cox behind the stumps.
Lancashire could have found themselves in bother at 55-2 but Horton and Smith forged a decisive partnership.
Smith eventually fell to Saeed with eight balls of the innings remaining and Lancashire on 183-3 with Jos Buttler adding an unbeaten 10 before the finish.
England international Moeen Ali blasted Worcestershire out of the blocks with a quick-fire 11 from four balls.
Steven Croft dismissed the opener, though, with Brown holding the catch in the fifth ball of the innings.
Worcestershire settled quickly, however, with youngster Tom Kohler-Cadmore hitting 25 from 13 deliveries before James Anderson had him caught by Stephen Parry.
The County maintained the pace despite losing regular wickets with Richard Oliver eager to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Oliver struck 34 from 23 balls before he was clean bowled by Arron Lilley with Worcestershire on 78-3.
Colin Munro and Daryl Mitchell immediately struck up a fruitful partnership until Jordan Clark had the latter caught by Parry.
Mitchell made 19 from 14 balls and departed with the visitors on 121-4 from 12.3 overs.
Clark claimed his second wicket by dispatching Munro for 39 from 33 deliveries with Horton claiming the catch.
Munro's removal left Worcestershire on 144-5 with less than four overs remaining.
Alexei Kervezee and Ross Whiteley set about trying to blast their way to an unlikely victory - and came impressively close.
Kervezee hit 32 from 23 balls and Whiteley 17 from 10.
Both remained unbeaten at the crease but the visitors fell 13 runs shy of completing the chase.