FRIENDS PROVIDENT t20, Old Trafford:
Lancashire 157-5 (20 ovs) beat Northants 88 (17.5 ovs) by 69 runs
Simon Kerrigan was playing only his second game of Twenty20 for Lancs
Lancashire eased to a second straight win in this year's FP t20 as they beat Northants by 69 runs at Old Trafford.
All rounder Tom Smith was Lancashire's top scorer with 67 as his side ran up 157-5 from their 20 overs, Chaminda Vaas taking 3-32 for the visitors.
But, despite Lancashire old boy Mal Loye making 22 on his return to Old Trafford, Northants never got close, being bowled out for just 88.
Young spinner Simon Kerrigan proved the star turn, taking a match-winning 3-17.
In only his second Twenty20 game, the Preston youngster was the main man responsible for the Steelbacks losing six wickets for 15 runs in just 26 balls.
The visitors had been 42-1, after openers Loye and another Lancashire old boy Lou Vincent, the club's stand-in overseas signing, who spent the latter half of the 2008 season at Old Trafford, hit 23 off the first two overs.
But Loye holed out to Stephen Moore at midwicket off home skipper Glen Chapple to spark a collapse that saw them tumble to 57-7 in the 10th, from where there was no way back.
Smith's 67 off 47 balls was a competition best for the Liverpool-born Chorley lad, his second half century in successive Twenty20 matches.
Lancashire opened their North Group campaign with a 23-run win against Durham on Friday night - and this second successive victory takes them top of the group. But, for Northants, it was a third straight defeat.
Northants now move on to New Road to play Worcestershire on Friday evening (1850 BST), while Lancashire are back in action at Old Trafford the same night against Leicestershire (1730 BST).
BBC Radio Northampton's Richard Savage offers his post-match verdict from Old Trafford:
Dank and dreary was the weather in Manchester and that pretty well summed up Northamptonshire's chase of what wasn't a huge target.
The big concern for Andrew Hall's side is their weakness against spin.
They struggled to cope with Imran Tahir at Edgbaston, Claude Henderson made the difference for Leicestershire and Lancashire's three young spinners tie them in knots.
The fielding needs improving too. Sure, one can say they miss the likes of Johan van der Wath and Ian Harvey but this side still contains plenty of players that looked so threatening last year.
They have to start winning, starting with Worcestershire on Friday, or their hopes in this year's t20 will fizzle out completely.