Northamptonshire’s Under 18s booked a place in the ECB County Cup final after a thumping victory of Lancashire at The County Ground.

The next generation of Steelbacks cricketers produced a strong all round performance to win by 93 runs and progress to the final on the 4th of September at Kibworth.

Skipper Olly Jefferies won the toss and elected to bat with Northamptonshire taking the upper hand early. The opening pair of Cronie and Anthathi consistently found the boundary to bring the 50 partnership up in the eight over.

The Steelbacks stuttered however, losing three wickets in as many overs to sit at 72 for 3. Jefferies steadied things with Buchake, adding 48 before another cluster of departures saw Northamptonshire 126 for 6 just after half way.

Houghton and Imman fired to push the hosts forward, productive from the start they ran well with regular boundaries and had the total approaching 200 heading into the final ten overs. Houghton was caught on the reverse for 39 but the tail supported Imman well who put the foot down through the back end to lift Northamptonshire to 250.

Weatherall struck early in the reply when he found enough swing to beat Fielding’s inside edge and rattle the stumps. In contrast to Northamptonshire’s top order, Lancashire struggled to push the rate and were curtailed throughout. Spin from Imman, Houghton and Cronie stifled the chase with regular wickets never letting the visitors take control.

At 102 for 4 midway through, the final was within reach for both sides but a miserly 4 for 27 from Rohail Imman saw Lancashire fall apart at the end, bowled out for 157 with 10 overs to spare.

The ECB County Cup 50 Over Final takes place at Kibworth on the 4th of September, beginning at 11am.