Cobb and Curran help Steelbacks cruise past Lightning

Ben Curran did the business for the Steelbacks against LancashireBen Curran did the business for the Steelbacks against Lancashire
Ben Curran did the business for the Steelbacks against Lancashire
Josh Cobb and Ben Curran cracked half-centuries as Northants Steelbacks moved level on points with Lancashire Lightning at the top of the Vitality T20 Blast North Group.

Cobb notched 57 from 32 balls and Curran made an unbeaten 50 from 41 as the County sauntered to a seven-wicket win against Lightning with 3.4 overs to spare.

Lightning had started the night two points clear at the summit, but they were no match for Northants, who kept it tight with the ball before making light work of the reply.

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The away side, missing England men such as Phil Salt and Liam Livingstone, were limited to 153 for seven as Graeme White and Ben Sanderson both claimed two for 28.

And the Steelbacks had no issues in their easy reply, despite the fact they were missing overseas star Chris Lynn.

John Sadler's side have won every home game in the T20 competition so far this season and they will now head to Worcestershire Rapids on Saturday afternoon looking to maintain their momentum.

Lancashire had opted to bat, but on a slightly two-paced pitch they struggled for fluency, losing openers Josh Bohannon and Keaton Jennings inside five overs, the latter caught at mid-on off Taylor.

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Dane Vilas provided much needed momentum, sweeping White for six before hitting Freddie Heldreich back over his head for another maximum as he dominated a 50-stand with Steven Croft

White extracted revenge when he forced Vilas to hole out at mid-on, but that brought Lancashire’s leading run scorer in the competition, Tim David, to the crease.

The Singalese all-rounder quickly made his mark, hitting Heldreich for four successive sixes, the first two endangering the commentary box before he twice hit inside out over cover, the young spinner gaining recompense for the bruising when Croft lofted him to White in the deep from the final ball of the over.

David was then dropped at deep square by Saif Zaib, only to be caught next ball, the impressive White the successful bowler, and after he departed Lancashire mustered just two boundaries in the remainder of their innings.

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Emilio Gay (30), making his first appearance at the top of the order in T20, took two early fours off Croft, before evading a beamer from Richard Gleeson for which the seamer was warned. By the time the left-hander drilled Danny Lamb to David at mid-on, the Steelbacks were already ahead of the rate.

Curran took up the mantle with three fours off another Gleeson over, before David’s eventful night continued as he reprieved Cobb on nought, failing to lay a hand on a mishit which to add insult to injury went for four.

Cobb set about making the most of the let off, belting Luke Wells into the crowd before clattering a short one from Gleeson onto the top of the burger stall beneath the main scoreboard as the 100 came up inside 10 overs.

Cobb was missed again on 40, Tom Hartley grassing the chance at backward point, and he made the errant fielder pay, slapping him for a flat, straight six. He moved to 50 soon afterwards from 28 balls before being caught in the deep off Matt Parkinson.

Curran’s own 50 came from 13 balls more and though he fell on the brink of victory, the Steelbacks coasted home for a statement win.

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