Gary Ballance stays on song as Yorkshire beat Lancashire in Royal London one-day cup

Sports Staff
The Independent
Azeem Rafiq celebrates with team-mates after dismissing Karl Brown: Getty
Azeem Rafiq celebrates with team-mates after dismissing Karl Brown: Getty

Gary Ballance carried his fine run of form into the Royal London One-Day Cup as Yorkshire made it two wins from two in the North Group with a 79-run victory over Roses rivals Lancashire at Headingley.

Ballance has already surpassed 500 runs in only three Specsavers County Championship matches and he shows no signs of slowing down in any format after amassing 85 from 77 balls in a total of 296 for nine.

He found the ideal partner in Peter Handscomb, who contributed 86 from 78 deliveries and, alongside Ballance, provided the backbone of Yorkshire's innings with a 143-run stand in exactly 20 overs.

Both batsmen were guilty of gifting away their wickets as Yorkshire lost six wickets for 66 runs to fall short of 300, but Lancashire were unable to get close to the total and were all out for 217 after 43.2 overs.

Liam Livingstone plays a shot for Lancashire (Getty)
Liam Livingstone plays a shot for Lancashire (Getty)

Adil Rashid removed dangermen Alex Davies and Red Rose captain Liam Livingstone in his spell of 10-0-34-2 which turned the match squarely in Yorkshire's favour - although it was fellow spinner Azeem Rafiq who finished with the better figures of four for 47.

The game finished in bright sunshine, in sharp contrast to how it began: under gloomy skies, with Lancashire unsurprisingly choosing to field first.

Jonny Bairstow continued in the unfamiliar position as opening batsmen and seemed to warm to his task by launching Tom Bailey for back-to-back legside sixes in a punchy start.

But the introduction of Ryan McLaren to the attack reaped immediate rewards as Bairstow, on 28, inside-edged his first delivery behind while the South African all-rounder also located the edge of fellow opener Adam Lyth for 30.

Joe Root, in his first innings at Headingley since being appointed England Test captain, looked in ominous touch in reaching 21 but then steered a back foot cut straight to Dane Vilas at backward point to hand McLaren his third wicket.

Ballance amassed 85 from 77 balls (Getty)
Ballance amassed 85 from 77 balls (Getty)

Handscomb and Ballance had a rebuilding job to do at 87 for three but the pair quietly accumulated and batted sensibly, taking few undue risks and keeping the score ticking over by rotating the strike regularly.

Handscomb looked particularly assured in his 57-ball half-century while Ballance rode his luck on occasion as he reached the mark in six fewer deliveries, with two of his five fours up to that point coming via inside edges.

Handscomb looked to cast off the shackles but, after smashing Luke Procter for six-four-two-six, he attempted another big stroke only to heave to James Anderson running in from deep midwicket.

The Australian's departure heralded the start of Lancashire's fightback, as Yorkshire lurched from 230 for four in the 38th over to 296 for nine.

Ballance missed out on his fourth century of the year - two balls after being dropped following a reverse sweep, he attempted the same stroke, only to be given out lbw to slow left armer Stephen Parry, who also accounted for David Willey and Adil Rashid.

Matthew Fisher of Yorkshire celebrates dismissing Haseeb Hameed (Getty)
Matthew Fisher of Yorkshire celebrates dismissing Haseeb Hameed (Getty)

Lancashire surprisingly opted to partner Procter with Davies, instead of Haseeb Hameed, at the top of the order but the move backfired, Procter chopping onto his stumps off Tim Bresnan for 10.

Hameed was dropped off the very next delivery but made a cagey eight before lumping Matt Fisher to mid-on.

In Davies and Livingstone, Lancashire still had a chance but Rashid, making full use of his variations, snuffed that out, with a lovely googly pinning the former in front for 43.

The highly-rated Livingstone flicked Plunkett for two sixes but was struggling to pick Rashid, who sent down another googly to castle the batsman shortly after Karl Brown found mid-off off Rafiq.

Livingstone's departure proved decisive and although Jordan Clark (26) delivered a couple of lusty blows for six, it proved no consolation as Lancashire crashed to a heavy defeat.

Keaton Jennings fires Durham to win over Warwickshire

Durham got their Royal London Cup campaign up and running in emphatic style with a 72-run victory over Warwickshire in a rain-reduced match at Edgbaston.

Durham were lifted to a hefty 313 for five from 39 overs by Keaton Jennings' one-day-best 139, which included 19 fours and two sixes, supported by Stephen Cook's 60 and Michael Richardson's 49.

Chris Rushworth and Mark Wood then shared three wickets in eight overs to inflict crucial early damage upon Warwickshire's reply.

From 43 for three, there was no way back for the Bears who mustered only 241 all out despite Jonathan Trott's 92 - his sixth 50-plus score in eight RL Cup innings.


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