sport

Horton and Smith get Lancs home

Paul Horton and Tom Smith's 128-run stand allowed Lancashire to edge to a 12-run Twenty20 Blast victory over Worcestershire at Old Trafford.

When Lancashire posted 194 for three, Horton and Smith could have been forgiven for expecting a solid victory.

The visitors had other ideas, maintaining a brisk pace throughout and falling just 13 runs short of an impressive turnaround result.

Worcestershire reached 182 for five in their 20 overs - with little more than half a run an over between the two sides.

Lancashire claimed their first win of the tournament after losing out by 33 runs to Nottinghamshire on Friday night.

Horton's unbeaten 71 from 43 balls steered Lancashire to an imposing total.

Opener Smith fired 74 from 53 balls to set the tone, before Saeed Ajmal had him stumped by wicketkeeper Ben Cox.

His was the third wicket to fall. Karl Brown went first for 28, with Charles Morris forcing him into an edge to Cox.

Two balls later the sequence was repeated, with Steven Croft being drawn into nicking one to Cox behind the stumps.

Lancashire could have found themselves in bother at 55 for two, but Horton joined Smith and the duo forged a decisive partnership.

Smith eventually fell to Ajmal with eight balls of the innings remaining and Lancashire 183 for three, with Jos Buttler adding an unbeaten 10 before the finish.

Moeen Ali blasted Worcestershire out of the blocks, with a quick-fire 11 from four balls.

Steven Croft dismissed the opener though, with Brown holding the catch in the fifth ball of the innings.

Worcester settled quickly though, with Tom Kohler-Cadmore hitting 25 from 13 deliveries before James Anderson had him caught by Stephen Parry.

Worcester maintained the pace despite losing relatively regular wickets, with Richard Oliver eager to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Oliver struck 34 from 23 balls before he was clean bowled by Arron Lilley, with Worcestershire 78 for three.

Colin Munro and Daryl Mitchell immediately struck up a fruitful partnership, until Jordan Clark had Mitchell caught by Parry.

Mitchell made 19 from 14 balls, and departed with the visitors 121 for four from 12.3 overs.

Clark claimed his second wicket by dispatching Munro for 39 from 33 deliveries, with Horton claiming the catch.

Munro's removal left Worcestershire 144 for five with less than four overs remaining.

Alexei Kervezee and Ross Whiteley set about trying to blast their way to an unlikely victory - and came impressively close.

Kervezee hit 32 from 23 balls and Whiteley 17 from 10.

Both remained unbeaten at the crease, but the visitors fell 13 runs shy of completing the chase.