Keaton can’t save Lancs from defeat
NOT even a stunning century from Keaton Jennings could save Lancashire as they slumped to defeat in a dramatic opening Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Nottinghamshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
After back-to-back tons in his last two County Championship innings, the Red Rose new boy added a third with a brilliant 136 off 129 balls on his List A debut for the county.
And with 10 overs to go in Lancashire’s chase of Nottinghamshire’s 318 all out, he looked to be guiding them to victory with the Red Rose well set on 245-3.
But a clutter of wickets saw them collapse to 309-9 as holders Nottinghamshire took the points.
Earlier, Matthew Parkinson - who was also making his List A debut for Lancashire - claimed 5-68 as the Red Rose pulled Notts back after Steven Mullaney made 70, Ross Taylor 58, Chris Nash 52 and Tom Moores 47.
The leg-spinner took five of the Outlaws’ last six wickets as the visitors themselves slipped from 248-4 to 318 all out, while Jennings took a career-best 2-32. It was still Nottinghamshire’s highest List A total against Lancashire, and would have been a record run chase for the Red Rose had they done it.
But despite Jennings sharing partnerships of 70 with Liam Livingstone, 63 with Dane Vilas and 87 with Steven Croft, his wicket with Lancashire needing 31 from 21 balls - one of Harry Gurney’s three victims - was key.
“I got out at a crucial time in the run chase,” said Jennings, whose innings was the highest by a Lancashire player against Notts in this form of the game. “It is hugely disappointing to not come out with a win.
“We always felt we were in the game, and we seemed to be ahead of them at every point.
“But credit to the way Notts went about it, they forced us to hit the ball into difficult areas.”
Jennings missed out on the England squad for next week’s first Test against Pakistan, despite his two centuries in the County Championship. And even after his latest hundred, he says he is not thinking about a return to international cricket at the moment.
“It has been fantastic to make an impression at my new club,” he said.
“I want to score runs at Lancs and get them over the line. That’s all I’m thinking about at the moment.”
Lancashire captain Livingstone, who used eight bowlers and picked four spinners, will have to lift his players ahead of Sunday’s second match at home to Durham.
“We backed ourselves to chase down that target, but it didn’t happen,” he said. “We could have been better in the field, and if we had kept them to under 300 we would have won the game.”
Lancashire’s Matthew Parkinson celebrates his five wickets, while Keaton Jennings (inset) hit a century