Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali

Captain Moeen Ali starred with an all-round show to send Worcestershire into maiden T20 Blast final after they beat Lancashire Lightning by 20 runs on Saturday. Worcestershire posted 169/6 after being sent in and then Patrick Brown bowled superbly in the death-overs to keep Lancashire to 149/9 at Edgbaston.

Lancashire seemed on course to win the first semifinal of the Finals Day after keeping their opponents to what looked a below par total. After an early run-out of opener Alex Davies, captain Liam Livingstone ensured that didn’t hurt as he smashed three fours and two sixes in his 18-ball 30. At 65/2 after seven overs, Lancashire were firmly in the chase. Enter Moeen and he knocked the wind out of their sails.

He first trapped Arron Lilley lbw on 23 and then landed a body blow when he cleaned up the dangerman Jos Buttler on 12. Keaton Jennings kept the chase alive hitting an unbeaten 51 off 40 but the others around him failed to offer any support.

That was largely thanks to Patrick Brown who picked up four wickets in his last two overs, including three in one – innings penultimate to all but seal his team’s passage into the final. With 29 needed in the final over, Jennings hit a six off the second delivery to reach his half-century but failed to wipe off the deficit. Brown, the leading wicket-taker of the season, finished with figures of 4/21 while Moeen took 2/16 from his four overs.

While opening the innings, Moeen hit 41 off 21 with seven fours and a six to build a solid ground for Ben Cox to an unbeaten 55 off 34.

However, after his departure, Worcestershire wobbled losing four wickets for the additions of just 27. But Cox hit three fours and as many sixes and with No. 8 Ed Barnard (28*), added 72 runs to take his team to what proved to be a winning total.

Brief Score: Worcestershire 169/6 (Ben Cox 55*, Moeen Ali 41; Matthew Parkinson 2/23) beat Lancashire 149/9 (Keaton Jennings 51*, Liam Livingstone 30; Patrick Brown 4/21) by 20 runs