Lancaster seal place in Twenty20 finals day

Lancaster professional Michael Barry.
Lancaster professional Michael Barry.

Lancaster qualified for the TWP Wealth Twenty20 finals day with victory over Preston at Lune Road on Friday night.

Stand-in skipper Liam Moffat saw his side put in a solid display with bat and ball to seal their place in the final four at Darwen Cricket Club this Sunday.

After last weekend’s run-laden proceedings, Lune Road reverted more to type in offering sideways movement for seamer and spinner alike.

After recent successes chasing, Lancaster bowled first and found the going tough initially as Sajid Patel and Saeed Bariwala made the most of the powerplay restrictions.

Their carefree abandon with the bat couldn’t be sustained however, as Patel skewed Iain Perrieman to a diving Matthew Liver at mid-on.

Preston pro Soyeb Dukanwala tried to keep the innings moving but lacked support from the other end as Dylan Conroy, Alex Metcalfe and Matthew Liver choked the run rate with regular wickets.

Moffat tidied up the innings picking up two wickets in the final over, including Dukanwala, to leave the hosts a manageable 98 to win as Preston finished on 97-8.

In-form professional Michael Barry held the chase together playing the dominant role in an opening stand of 52 with Jamie Heywood, before the latter chipped out for 13.

Barry stood firm as brief cameos continued from the other end, making a vital 52.

As the light faded, Conroy and Luke Phillips saw the hosts home in the final over to hand Lancaster a finals day showdown with Netherfield on Sunday as they finished on 101-5.