Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Howzat for Some Great Cricketing Memories?

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Howzat for Some Great Cricketing Memories?

Article excerpt

LANCASHIRE County Cricket Club carved out a little slice of history when they took the field to face Leicestershire at Old Trafford on May Day, 1963.

It was the very first match to be played in the Gillette Cup - the first top level, one-day knock-out competition for English and Welsh county sides.

Lancashire won by 101 runs that day, but ended up losing in the semi-final to Worcestershire by nine wickets. Sussex eventually won the close-run final by 14 runs.

Little did anybody know then that Lancashire would make another piece of cricket history in the competition, starting at Lord's just seven years later.

Lancashire were pitted against Sussex in the 1970 Gillette Cup Final. Lancashire made 185 for four and Sussex were bowled out for 184.

Lancashire were triumphant and the Gillette Cup came back to Old Trafford. That was the first time.

Next year Lancashire were at Lords again, this time facing 1967 winners, Kent.

Lancashire made 224 for seven in their 60 overs and Kent were all out for 200. Lancashire won by 24 runs. That was the second time - two Gillette Cups in two years.

In 1972, Lancashire returned to Lord's for an unprecedented third time in three years. Could they do the impossible? They could. Warwickshire were defeated by four wickets. Three Gillette Cups in three years. Surely not four in four.

Sadly no. The 1973 final was played between Gloucestershire and Sussex.

Lancashire were far from a spent force, as 1974 saw them back facing old foes Kent in the final. Kent won by four wickets, so the dream of four cups in five years was over.

However, the dream of four Gillette Cups in six years turned into reality when Lancashire defeated 1975 final opponents Middlesex by two runs in the 1975 final.

Middlesex scored 180 in 60 overs and Lancashire made 182 for three in 57 overs.

It was a brilliant record - but the next year it got even better. In 1976 Lancashire reached the final for the sixth time in seven years.

As always, the match was at Lord's. Opponents Northamptonshire had reached their first ever final.

After 60 overs, Lancashire were on 195 for seven, with David Lloyd hitting 48 runs.

Northants went into bat. Bowler Bishan Bedi took three wickets for 52, but Northants hung on to reach 199 for six after 58.1 overs.

It was Lancashire's last appearance in a Gillette Cup final, although they would return in 1986. By that time the competition had been renamed the NatWest Trophy.

There were no knock-out competitions back in July 1949 when Lancashire took on Glamorgan at Stradey Park.

More than 7,000 spectators needed to be accommodated, so the club appealed to local brewers and builders, who made temporary seating out of planks and beer barrels.

The crowd was a little more animated when Lancashire played Glamorgan in the John Player League at Old Trafford in September 1971. …

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