NatWest Pro40 - Division Two
Northamptonshire Steelbacks 102-7 Innings Complete v Lancashire Lightning 91-2
Lancashire beat Northamptonshire by 8 wkts (D/L Method)
Lancashire moved to the top of the NatWest Pro40 Division two with an eight wicket victory over Northamptonshire at a soggy County Ground.
In a match initially reduced to 21-overs per side following mid-afternoon rain, the visitors chased down the 88 runs they required via the Duckworth/Lewis method following further showers midway through the innings.
The result was rarely in doubt once openers Tom Smith and VVS Laxman took the attack to the Steelbacks bowling, the pair putting on 72 for the first wicket.
Smith led the way with 43 from just 28 balls with six boundaries and a six before he was bowled by Andrew Hall going for one shot too many.
Laxman opted to anchor the innings and it was only when Smith departed that he hit out, the Indian also ending with six fours in his unbeaten 38 off 37 deliveries.
Northamptonshire were indebted to some big hitting late in the innings by Johan van der Wath after Lancashire skipper Mark Chilton won an important toss under leaden skies.
Stephen Peters and Riki Wessels were early casualties before the players went off for a lengthy period, and on their return Niall O'Brien and Alex Wakely also fell cheaply as Kyle Hogg picked up three wickets.
Smith then removed Nicky Boje to reduce the hosts to 25 for five before Rob White and Hall finally put up some resistance with a 31-run stand.
But Stephen Parry removed both batsmen, bowling White for 23 and having Hall stumped for 13 before van der Wath clobbered an unbeaten 35 from 28 balls while David Willey also hit a six late in the play.
With 10 overs needed to be completed to constitute a match play was once again halted by the weather after five overs of the Lancashire reply with the visitors initially chasing 100.
But the drizzle relented long enough for Lightning to complete the win with plenty of time to spare, although not before England reject Monty Panesar had removed Peter Horton from one with 13 still required.