Lancashire Lightning look to set Twenty/20 Finals Day alight

By Jack Travers

Twenty/20 Finals Day is always a summer blockbuster and this year’s edition at Edgbaston promises to be no different.

Lancashire Lightning face two-time winners Leicestershire Foxes in the first semi on Saturday while defending champions Hampshire Royals will battle it out with the 2005 winners Somerset Sabres for the second final berth. 

Old Trafford is buzzing at the moment as Lancashire remain on track for their first County Championship title since 1950, when they shared the title with Surrey.

But it is their form in the shortest form of the game that is all important this weekend and the likes of Stephen Moore and Gary Keedy will be looking to lead the Lightning to their first ever Twenty/20 title.

Lancs have come close on a number of occasions before. They were the victim of South Africa skipper Graeme Smith’s flashing blade in 2005 when they were the runners-up to the Sabres in a rain affected final reduced to16 overs per side.

They also lost semi-finals in 2004 and 2007.

However, the side seem to have developed a winning mentality under former England coach Peter Moores and they will be hard to beat at Edgbaston, especially if their senior players come to the party.

Keedy especially has been superb in this year’s competition and his left arm orthodox spin has been both miserly and dangerous.

A tournament tally of 19 wickets at an average of 16.68 and an economy of just under six an over proves his ongoing class and the 36-year-old veteran will be hoping to bring back the glory days of the 1990s Lancashire one-day side.

One player looking to remind everyone of his class is Stephen Moore. The former Worcestershire opener was signed in 2009 with England keeping a close eye on him but poor form and injuries have seen him drop down the international pecking order.

However, his Friends Life Twenty/20 form has been rock solid this term. 479 runs at an average of 34 in this year’s competition has been a good return and he could be the key man in Lancashire’s batting line-up.

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