Chris Lynn hammers superb century as Steelbacks thrash Foxes in Blast

Chris Lynn smashed a superb 110 not out for the Steelbacks in their win over Leicestershire FoxesChris Lynn smashed a superb 110 not out for the Steelbacks in their win over Leicestershire Foxes
Chris Lynn smashed a superb 110 not out for the Steelbacks in their win over Leicestershire Foxes
Chris Lynn returned to form in glorious fashion as he steered Steelbacks to an emphatic eight-wicket Vitality Blast win over Leicestershire Foxes at the County Ground on Friday night.

The Australian had struggled to hit top form in the first four matches of the campaign, but he was back to his blistering best at a packed Wantage Road as he smashed a stunning 110 not out from 68 balls to see the Steelbacks to their second win of the season, and their first in four attempts at home.

The Queenslander cracked five sixes and 13 fours as he scored his fifth T20 century – and his second against Leicestershire.

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Replying to the Foxes' 164 for eight, Lynn and Northants started cautiously, but the Australian opener started to find his range at the midway point of the innings, and from that point there was no stopping him.

The Foxes bowlers had no answers, and they must be sick of the sight of him as he also hammered an unbeaten century in the corresponding fixture last summer.

The County got home with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, Ben Sanderson had made a triumphant return to the team, taking three for 25, while Lynn's fellow Aussie AJ Tye also had a good night as he bagged three for 30.

Steelbacks made two changes to the team that lost to Birmingham Bears on Tuesday, with Graeme White left out and Ricardo Vasconcelos missing out through injury.

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Emilio Gay replaced Vasconcelos, with Sanderson coming in for White for his first Blast start of the season.

After Foxes won the toss and batted, Sanderson made an instant impact, bowling Nick Welch with his second ball to leaves the visitors nought for one.

The Foxes recovered and upped the tempo through Lewis Hill, but in the fifth over Sanderson struck again, Rishi Patel skying to AJ Tye at mid-on and Foxes were 36 for two.

And two balls later it was 37 for three, skipper Colin Ackermann having his middle stump uprooted by a beauty from the experienced Steelbacks seamer.

The Foxes ended the powerplay on 42 for three.

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Just as the visitors were threatening to get going, left-arm wrist spinner Freddie Heldreich struck a key blow, having Hill stumped for 31 to see the visitors 56 for four.

Louis Kimber was looking a big danger and was given a huge let-off in the 11th over, James Sales dropping a steepling catch off his own bowling - it looked like he had it, but it popped out of his grasp and he couldn't then cling on.

It wasn't to prove too costly though, as Kimber was deceived by a slower ball and bowled for 41 by AJ Tye off the last ball of the 13th over and the Foxes were 103 for five.

Rehan Ahmed followed soon after, offering up a simple caught and bowled to David Willey, and going into the final five overs Foxes were 113 for six.

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The Steelbacks needed to keep it tight and finish the job, but three big overs from the Foxes, and two sixes from the final two balls of the innings saw them close on 164 for eight, Naveen-ul-Haq hitting 25 not out from just eight balls.

A total of 30 runs came off the final two overs as Foxes gave themselves a chance.

Chasing 165 to win, Steelbacks made a careful start, with a few fours keeping the scoreboard ticking over, but they lost their first wicket on 39 in the fifth over, Gay edging Naseem Shah behind for 13.

Chris Lynn was beginning to find his timing but was sticking to keeping the ball on the ground rather than going aerial, and he had moved on to 30 not out from 26 balls as Steelbacks ended the powerplay on 50 for one.

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Willey joined Lynn and was handed a let-off as he was dropped on the square-leg boundary by Rishi Patel off the bowling of leg-spinner Ahmed, but aside from that it was all very cautious as the Steelbacks picked off the singles.

Off the final ball of the ninth over, Lynn let fly and hit Colin Ackermann for a six over wide mid-on - his first maximum of the season – as the home side eased to 72 for one.

It was seemingly time to step on the gas, and the next over saw Willey get in on the act as he dispatched Ahmed into the Clarke Road gardens with a huge pull shot before Lynn hammered Callum Parkinson for another six.

Lynn then cut Parkinson for four to bring up his 50 off 47 balls, and with 11 gone the Steelbacks were suddenly in control at 93 for one.

The 100 came up at the end of the 12th

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Josh Hull was then taken for 20 in one over as Lynn really opened his shoulders, before the Foxes made the breakthrough, Willey hitting Naveen-ul-hag to deep square leg to go for 20 from 18 balls.

His partnership with Lynn was worth 81.

With Saif Zaib joining him in the middle, Lynn continued to punish the Leicestershire attack, bringing up his ton with a another six off Ahmed in the penultimate over, and followed it up with a couple of fours to wrap up the victory.

Match factsFoxes: 164-8 (Kimber 41, Sanderson 3-25, Tye 3-30)

Steelbacks: 168-2 (Lynn 110no)

Steelbacks win by eight wickets


Steelbacks: Lynn, Gay, Willey, Cobb, Zaib, McManus, Taylor, Tye, Sales, Sanderson, Heldreich

Foxes: Hill, Welch, Patel, Ackermann, Kimber, Ahmed, Swindells, Parkinson, Vaveen, Nassem, Josh Hull