Former Australian Test opener Simon Katich insists the quality of Lancashire’s performance in the field was the catalyst for victory in their Yorkshire Bank 40 clash with Surrey at Guildford.
After restricting the hosts to 264-8 from their 40 overs, Lancashire secured victory with 15 balls to spare to reignite their one-day campaign.
And Katich – who guided the Red Rose home with an unbeaten knock of 57 – believes the Old Trafford club showed the credentials needed if they are to progress in this tournament.
“The way we bowled and fielded to restrict them to 260-odd was superb because at one stage they looked like getting 300 plus,” he told Lancashire’s official website.
“That would have been a tough ask. Our fielding was right on the money. We showed outstanding character.”
Surrey flew out the blocks with Jason Roy and Steven Davies both scoring quick-fire fifties to set the platform for a big score with an imperious century stand.
However, once Kyle Hogg had dismissed Davies courtesy of an outstanding catch by Stephen Moore, Lancashire took a constant stream of wickets to rein-in their hosts.
Katich himself took a superb one-handed catch to dismiss Surrey skipper Vikram Solanki, while Moore affected the run out of former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
And he insisted these moments of improvised fielding gave Lancashire a boost as Surrey looked well on course to bat Lancashire out of the game.
“Stephen’s catch was outstanding because it looked like it was going over his head,” he said.
“But he managed to pluck it out one-handed when he was almost on the ropes. To keep his balance was a great effort.
“He got us going with that catch, and run outs change the course of games. Ricky was obviously a crucial wicket, but it also got us on a bit of a roll.”
Stephen Parry was once again Lancashire’s most economical bowler, recording figures of 1-34 from eight overs, while Jordan Clark and Hogg took two wickets apiece.
Zander de Bruyn produced a gem of a knock late in the Surrey innings, scoring an unbeaten 34 off 26 balls, after Chris Adams’ side had slumped to 198-7.
De Bruyn was ably supported by lower-order contributions from Jon Lewis and Chris Tremlett, ensuring Lancashire would need to score in excess of six an over for maximum points.
In reply, Ashwell Prince and Moore made a confident start with the South African’s invaluable top score of 76 underpinning the entire innings.
Moore was out for 30 and Steven Croft also made a start before falling for 25 after a solid 55-run partnership with Prince.
The Red Rose endured a wobble as Prince and Karl Brown fell to successive balls from Pakistani all-rounder Azhar Mahmood.
But after Clark made a run-a-ball 27, Katich joined forces with wicketkeeper Gareth Cross, who scored 24 off 15 balls as the visitors finished in style.
Lancashire breathed new life into their quest for qualification from Yorkshire Bank 40 Group B with this win and face a crucial showdown against Essex at Chelmsford next Sunday.
Parry once again made a crucial contribution to the Lancashire cause with the ball, as he did with 5-17 when the two teams met at Old Trafford last month.
And after taking wickets as a Red Rose XI claimed the honours last week in a match against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities, the 27-year-old feels he is hitting his straps.
“I’ve not had too many bad days this season, touch wood,” he said ahead of yesterday’s match at Guildford. “I feel like I’m bowling really well at the moment.
“Hopefully I can take my momentum from the start of this year into Sunday and hopefully get a few more good scalps to contribute to a win.”
Parry skippered the side against the students, reflecting the growing maturity of the former England Lion who played his first County Championship match since 2010 against Essex in May.
“I’ve done a bit of captaincy in the seconds, but it’s nice to get an opportunity in a first-team fixture,” he added. “It was really enjoyable. For me to get asked is an honour.
“What I usually find the hardest is working out when I should be bowling and not bowling too long, that kind of stuff.
“I’ve got to take advice from the keeper or the other senior players who are out there. I enjoy the tactical side of it the most.
“I’m getting a bit older now, a bit more senior. There’s more responsibility on my shoulders.”
Image courtesy of LancsCCCofficial, via YouTube, with thanks