Captain Simm holds his nerve as Lancaster see off Blackpool

Kasun Madushanka in action against Blackpool. Picture: Tony North
Kasun Madushanka in action against Blackpool. Picture: Tony North
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Lancaster held their nerve to pick up a big win over Blackpool at Lune Road on Saturday.

Captain Ben Simm hit the winning runs off the penultimate ball of the game as the hosts got home by three wickets in an exciting finish.

After the game had been reduced to 40 overs, Sri Lankan professional Kasun Madushanka took 4-32 as Blackpool posted 135-7 batting first.

Lancaster were behind the rate in reply at one point but some big overs at key times set up victory, Simm hitting a cover drive off the second to last ball that brought the three runs needed for victory.

Madushanka had raced out of the blocks at the start of play, taking the first three wickets to fall, including professional Anurag Verma for a duck, as Blackpool slumped to 17-3.

Liam Moffat (2-62) then removed Matthew Houston and at 23-4 the hosts sensed a big chance.

Stephen Twist steadied the ship with 33 however and put on 54 for the fifth wicket with Andy Furniss before top-scorer Josh Boyne’s unbeaten run-a-ball 36 ensured Blackpool posted a competitive total batting first.

In reply, Joseph Hills (20) and Jamie Heywood (7) made a solid start but both fell in quick succession to leave Lancaster on 29-2

Charlie Swarbrick (30) and Kieran Moffat (19) rebuilt however and set a platform before both being removed by Verma, who with 3-54 was the pick of the Blackpool bowlers.

Wickets then fell at regular intervals, the hosts slipping from 81-3 to 88-6, with Simm’s unbeaten 31, which including three fours, proving key.

He got support late on from Brendan Hetherington who scored all of his 14 runs in boundaries, two fours and a six.

Six were needed from the final over and three from the final two balls, skipper Simm diving home to seal the 15 points as Blackpool lost for the first time this season in all competitions.