Worcestershire opened their 2011 Friends Life t20 Cup campaign with an way trip to Old Trafford to take on the Lancashire Lightning. With Damien Wright unavailable due to a a calf injury Worcestershire went into the match with no overseas players. Skipper Daryl Mitchell made a welcome return to the side, but will still be unable to bowl for a least a couple more weeks. Aneesh Kapil took a break from his A level exams to make his Twenty/20 debut after a good performance in his first CB40 match against Yorkshire.
Lancashire won the toss and elected to bat first. Tom Smith and Stephen Moore got off to a fast start, passing 40 within five overs. The partnership was broken when Jack Shantry had Smith caught on the cover boundary by Alexei Kervezee for 13. The following over Moore was dismissed for 28, to a sharp catch at short mid wicket by Daryl Mitchell off the bowling of Chris Whelan.
The introduction of the spin bowlers help to reduce the run rate and stem the flow of boundaries. Paul Horton (20) and Steven Croft (14) made 42 for the 3rd wicket before both being dismissed by Moeen Ali in his 3rd over. Luke Procter (17) and Jordan Clark (15) added some useful runs lower down the order, helped a bit by Clark being dropped twice in successive deliveries. Worcestershire bowled 5 wide deliveries in their innings in a total of 20 extras which proved to be costly at the end.
Moeen Ali finished with figures of 2-24 in his 4 overs and Jack Shantry 2-29 as Lancashire were reached 154-7 in their 20 over allocation.
In reply Worcestershire started very strongly and quickly, Moeen Ali scoring 16 runs off the first over alone. Worcestershire reached 50 within 4 overs and looked on course to chase the total down with ease. Kyle Hogg made the breakthrough for the home side trapping Moeen LBW for 24 in his first over. Simon Kerrigan then picked up the key wicket of Vikram Solanki in his first over, bowling him for 13. Hogg then returned from the Pavilion end and picked up the wicket of Alexei Kervezee for 21 off just 10 deliveries leaving the visitors on 68-3 but still only in the 6th over.
Lancashire had picked 4 spinners in their side who they used in rotation to good effect as they changed the course of the match, restricting the run rate and taking wickets at regular intervals. Gary Keedy produced the stand out performance with figures of 3-14 off 4 overs. Two of Keedy's wickets came through stumpings, in a total of three in the innings for keeper Gareth Cross.
Wickets fell at regular intervals as Worcestershire tried to up the run rate, Daryl Mitchell scored a fighting 22 before being caught at long on by Smith trying to force a boundary. Shaaiq Choudhry was left unbeaten on 26 as Worcestershire reached 146-9 in their 20 overs.
Lancashire (154-7) beat Worcestershire (146-9) by 8 runs.