Loye blasts Lightning to win

Source - sportinglife.com

Mal Loye hit a magnificent 80 not out to carry Lancashire Lightning to a six-wicket Twenty20 Cup win over Durham Dynamos at Old Trafford.

The Lightning opener reached his 50 off 42 balls, with five fours and two sixes, in pursuit of a testing 150. He went on hit two more fours and one more six.

The last time he played against the Dynamos in the Twenty20 Cup, back in 2005, he hit 100 off 55 balls.

Loye was helped by Steven Croft's 49 as the hosts recovered from 35 for three, after Durham had reached 149 for five thanks knocks to Phil Mustard (41) and Gordon Muchall (44no).

After wicketkeeper-batsman Mustard helped his team to 58 off the first six overs, the Lightning spinners put the squeeze on.

James Anderson had earlier dismissed Michael Di Venuto, brilliantly caught behind one-handed by Gareth Cross - while Tom Smith trapped Dale Benkenstein lbw.

Gary Keedy, Sanath Jayasuriya and Brad Hodge - the trio of Red Rose twirlers - bowled 11 consecutive overs.

Keedy, undoubtedly the pick of the Lightning bowling, removed New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris with his third ball.

Mustard was still going strong but was soon on his way back when Jayasuriya bowled him middle stump.

Muchall and Garry Park nonetheless added an unbroken 76 to 73 for five.

Loye began the home reply with his trademark slog sweep for six off just the second ball of the innings. But Ottis Gibson responded in his next over by dismissing Jayasuriya.

Liam Plunkett celebrated his England one-day call-up with two wickets in his opening over - one with his first ball - to get rid of Hodge and Stuart Law.

Loye was then joined by Croft as they rescued the situation with a fourth-wicket partnership of 113.

Loye drove and pulled Plunkett for four, but Croft also joined in the fun with a glorious upper-cut to the point boundary.
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