Lancashire CCC - Specsavers County Championship
A George Bailey century held the Hampshire innings together at Emirates Old Trafford in the face of a good Lancashire bowling effort in batsmen-friendly conditions with the visitors ending the first day of this Specsavers County Championship match on 351-8.
Visiting skipper Bailey backed up his decision to bat first with a fine, solid innings of 127, while six wickets fell during the first two sessions as the ball swung and offered some assistance to the bowlers for the first half of a sunny, humid day although batting was by no means difficult on an easy-paced surface.
Kyle Jarvis was left frustrated by the Hampshire fightback over the evening session saying: “I think there was a momentum swing towards their side during that last session.
“To give them credit, I thought (Kyle) Abbott played really well as did George Bailey.
“If we can get the last couple of wickets early tomorrow morning for less than 350 we will probably be alright.”
Lancashire welcomed back pace duo James Anderson and Jarvis, who replaced Tom Bailey and Saqib Mahmood from the side that played at Southport last week, while Rob Jones and Luke Procter came in at the top of the batting order with both Haseeb Hameed and Liam Livingstone away on England duty.
Having elected to bat, Mike Carberry and Jimmy Adams endured some anxious moments as both Anderson and Jarvis found swing and movement to trouble the visitors’ opening pair.
After negotiating the early exchanges to reach 30 without loss after fifty minutes of play, both batsmen found themselves back in the dressing room in the space of 17 deliveries as three wickets fell for eight runs.
Adams, on 16, gave an easy catch to Jones at cover after his attempt to flick Jarvis to leg found a leading edge. After crunching one boundary to mid-wicket Rilee Rossouw played too soon at a slower ball from Jarvis to give the bowler a return catch having made just that one scoring shot.
Carberry then edged an attempted cut off former teammate Ryan McLaren to wicketkeeper Alex Davies to depart for 14 with Hampshire in early trouble on 38-3.
James Vince and skipper Bailey batted with increasing assurance striking a flurry of boundaries just before the break to reach lunch on 84-3 but Procter trapped Vince lbw for 22 soon after play resumed to make the score 107-4 in the 35th over.
Bailey reached his fifty from 72 balls shortly thereafter but soon lost partner Sean Ervine for 7 when the left hander edged a Procter delivery that moved away to be well caught by Davies tumbling to his left, 125-5.
Lewis McManus provided good support to Bailey with a determined innings of 15, helping his skipper add 52 runs for the seventh wicket before edging Jordan Clark to Anderson at second slip.
Conditions eased as the day wore on from that point with Jarvis adding: ““Having them 177 for 6, I think we would have liked to have done a little bit better.
“With the outfield being quite wet, the ball is not being scuffed up as much so it’s been easier to shine. There was a bit of movement through the air.
“The pitch has got better in this last session. It’s a good batting pitch so we’d like to put on a big score.
Unusually the ball was changed twice during the first 80 overs.
“The second ball we had was out of shape,” revealed Jarvis. “It was doing absolutely nothing. As soon as we changed it, you could see it (the new one, the third one used) moving as it should.
“I think when Jimmy can’t swing the ball then you know there’s a problem with the ball!
“It wasn’t swinging as much in the last session,” he added. “That made it easier to play and to be fair they batted well and played some positive cricket.”
Gareth Berg joined forces with Bailey to build another steady partnership of 55 either side of tea before Berg fell for 27, lbw sweeping at Stephen Parry to leave Hampshire on a below-par 232-7.
By then Bailey had reached three figures from 145 balls when cutting Clark square to record his 15th four and the Hampshire skipper found great support from Kyle Abbott during the final session.
Abbott played in attacking fashion from the start, scoring 41 of the pair’s fifty partnership which arrived from 57 balls before going on to reach his own half century from just 54 balls with eight fours.
It was an outstanding contribution from Hampshire’s number nine batsman and helped the visitors to finish the day in a far better position than had looked possible earlier.
Bailey’s innings finally came to a close on 127 when his attempted cut off Anderson instead found the stumps via a bottom edge, ending a valuable partnership of 82 for the eighth wicket that had brought the visitors right back in to the game.
Abbott finished the day on 76 not out, his highest Championship score, with Brad Taylor 18 not out, while all six Lancashire bowlers took wickets as Hampshire closed the day on 351-8.
“Every game we are pushing to win,” added Jarvis.
“The side is playing some really good cricket at the moment so there’s no reason why we can’t win the next couple of games. We have Jimmy around for the next couple of games., so we can put ourselves in a really good position.”
Getting through 19 overs in the day and picking up a couple of vital wickets ended a frustrating period for the quick bowler following his broken thumb injury, with Jarvis saying: “I felt I was bowling really well towards the end of the one-dayers. I was in good touch.
“It just happened the day before the Roses game, so it was the worst possible time.
“I’ve missed three games at the end of the day. It’s a month on (from that) and I can get a big push on now for the rest of the season and get some good performances in for Lancashire.”
Meanwhile Anderson looked comfortable on his return from injury getting through 22 overs during the day.
Alex Davies struck a fine century to lead Lancashire’s reply to Hampshire’s 395 on the second day of this Specsavers County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 22-year old opening batsman produced a high quality innings of 115, cutting and driving to great effect throughout and forging good partnerships with Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas as Lancashire closed the day on 278-5, behind by 117 runs.
“It feels really nice to get another hundred,” said Davies. “I’m really pleased with the innings and pleased we are in a decent position but I wanted a few more runs. I slightly feel like I have left some (runs) out there.
“I was a bit tired towards the end and it was just a lack of concentration. Next time I’ll try and keep batting rather than give it away like that.
It was Davies’s third first-class century of the season-and his career-and the young wicketkeeper batsman now leads the Red Rose run scoring in the Championship with 487 runs at an average of 48.70.
“I’m just trying to keep scoring runs at the top (of the order) and put us in good positions,” he said.
“I’d not got many in the last couple of games. I had a good start, two hundreds in the first three games and then fell away.
“I think I was trying too hard, so I’ve tried to relax a bit and trust what got me those runs earlier, and gone back to what I do well. It stood me in good stead today.
Davies has always stated his desire to be thought of as a wicketkeeper who can bat up the order, rather than occupying a sometimes more traditional number 6 or 7 spot in the line-up and he is determined to score the runs to back that up this season.
“I have always felt like a natural opener,” he said. “It is more of a mental shift and I am feeling really comfortable.
“I set myself targets every year. It is three hundreds and it's a nice start for me, but I'm nowhere near where I want to be but I have had a few games where I have gone cheaply.
After successfully coming through two knee operations last season, this year has gone well so far him, something Davies appreciates.
“I am gloving them really well,” he said.
“And to be honest, I am just enjoying playing again after missing out last season.
“It made me hungry and performances like this are what I was thinking about during the rehab.
“There are days this season when I look back at how much I missed last season and I have to make up for that time out now.
“I have passed 2,000 first-class runs now, but I could have been on a lot more if I hadn't missed last season so I have to make up for those.”
Davies forged a good partnership with Chanderpaul to steer Lancashire into calmer waters after the loss of early wickets had seen their reply stumble to 69-3 on another roasting day in the Manchester sun.
The pair started cautiously with 12 runs from 6 overs but the double introduction of spinner Brad Taylor and medium pacer Sean Ervine brought a sudden avalanche of runs-37 in 3 overs at one point-with both batsmen hitting Taylor for six and Ervine quickly withdrawn after conceding 24 runs (including extras) in two overs.
The partnership for the fourth wicket had realised 74 runs from 16 overs when Chanderpaul was stumped by Lewis McManus after Taylor produced a sharply turning delivery that beat the batsman’s forward push.
Vilas scored his second Championship half-century of the season, making an excellent 76 not out, and helping to add 80 runs across 19 overs for the fifth wicket before a tiring Davies pulled occasional medium pacer James Vince to Michael Carberry at deep square leg to leave the score on 223-5.
Vilas and Ryan McLaren (23 not out) steered Lancashire to the close with another solid partnership of 53 runs during the final hour.
Earlier Lancashire were frustrated by the Hampshire tail at the start of the day with the visitors adding 44 runs to finish 395 all out well into the second hour of the morning.
Taylor edged James Anderson to McLaren at second slip after just one run had been scored, but Kyle Abbott and last man Matt Salisbury battled away to take their side in sight of 400 while Abbott moved steadily towards his first-ever century. Agonisingly he fell three short after his partner skied a pull off McLaren to Chanderpaul at mid-wicket to end the innings.
That left Lancashire thirty minutes to bat before lunch but a good opening spell from Gareth Berg either side of interval undermined the start of the Red Rose reply.
Rob Jones, having been hit on the helmet by a short ball from Berg, departed lbw for 2 when the bowler cleverly pitched the next delivery up.
Luke Procter followed for 8 at the start of the afternoon, bowled by Berg from an in-swinging delivery.
Abbott nipped one back to trap Steven Croft lbw for 1 after the Lancashire skipper had defended determinedly for 32 balls to leave the Red Rose on 69-3.
It could have been worse however, because earlier Davies had received a big reprieve on 17, stranded short of his ground backing up too far but relieved to see the bowler Salisbury’s throw miss the stumps.
It was a close call, and one that Davies went on to make the most of on a memorable day.
“It was a good day for us today,” was his assessment.
“It is set up nicely for the next two days. We need to bat past them. You never know what the pitch will do here, so we need to be ruthless with the bat.
“The pitch is good, it is a very typical Old Trafford wicket, it just depends if it goes on the fourth day which is why we need a big first innings score.”
A double century by Dane Vilas and a hundred by Ryan McLaren, together with five early wickets in Hampshire’s second innings has put Lancashire in with a great chance of winning this Specsavers County Championship match.
The visitors finished on 50-5 still trailing by 148 runs on a sensational record-breaking third day as Lancashire heaped the pressure on Hampshire with an impressive and dominating display.
After posting a huge total of 593 the Red Rose attack struck quickly to leave the visitors reeling on 26-4 with three wickets for James Anderson who ended the day with figures of 8-4-5-3.
Anderson removed Jimmy Adams lbw for 0, and Rilee Rossouw, caught at third slip by Steven Croft, with consecutive deliveries in the third over of the Hampshire innings before trapping first innings century-maker George Bailey lbw for 10.
In between Jarvis completely deceived Michael Carberry who offered no shot to a delivery that nipped back to hit off stump.
James Vince then drove McLaren to Rob Jones at short extra cover just before the close to cap a great day for the Red Rose side.
Sean Ervine (1 not out) and Matt Salisbury (0 not out) will resume for the visitors and Lancashire will fancy their chances of pushing for victory tomorrow.
Dane Vilas described the five wickets that fell during the final hour making it “a perfect day” for Lancashire.
“It was beautiful to watch and I had a great view at slip,” was Vilas’s assessment of Anderson’s late evening spell.
“It is scary how well he is bowling at the moment. To see his passion, he is really up for it. He was a big inspiration for the guys in that last session.
“And that final wicket of Vince was the icing on the cake on a perfect day.
The nature of the game changed dramatically during those 22 overs and Vilas added: “I have been in that situation myself and know how difficult it is.
“Once you see the opposition go past your total and the runs pile on, you are thinking then about how many more overs you have to be in the field and how many more runs you have to get. It just gets worse and worse and your legs start getting heavier and heavier.
“That's exactly what we wanted to do, zap as much energy out of them as possible and get two or three wickets late in the day, but it's unbelievable that we have got five.”
On another hot and humid day, Vilas and McLaren both reached three figures for the first time in a Red Rose shirt and in the process set a new Lancashire sixth wicket first-class partnership record of 231 against Hampshire.
It was a superb effort by the pair who attacked right from the start this morning, Vilas riding his luck when dropped on 77 from successive deliveries in the second over of the day bowled by Brad Taylor. The off spinner’s anguish only increased when Vilas reverse swept the next delivery for four.
The visitors were left to contemplate what might have been as Vilas and McLaren powered on throughout the morning and into the afternoon, finally separated after 60 overs when McLaren was adjudged lbw to Berg for a chanceless 107 with Lancashire 454-6.
Their partnership was the fourth highest for the Lancashire sixth wicket but more importantly it had taken the Red Rose side ahead of Hampshire’s first innings 395 and also built a strong platform to enable Steven Croft’s side to make a final day push for victory.
It was also the first time three Lancashire batsmen have scored centuries in the same innings since Carl Hooper, Stuart Law and Iain Sutcliffe all scored hundreds against Northants in the opening match of the 2004 season.
“It was an unbelievable partnership,”said Vilas. “Ryan just took all the pressure off me and I could just play my game.
“He has batted beautifully in the last few games and scored 70s and 80s, so for him to get his first four-day hundred for the club I am delighted for him.”
Vilas stepped up the momentum after McLaren’s departure, taking 64 balls to move from 100 to 150, and 64 more to reach his third career double-century with a straight drive to the long-off boundary off Sean Ervine.
That was the precursor to a great finish to the innings as Vilas, with the aid of Jordan Clark (24) and Kyle Jarvis (30), then launched into a ferocious onslaught hitting 44 off 25 balls to be last out for a career-best 244 the highlight of which came when he struck three huge sixes off four balls into the stands off Taylor.
Vilas’s innings also broke the record for the highest score by a Lancashire number 6 batsman in first-class cricket, beating Graham Lloyd’s 225 against Yorkshire in 1997.
The last 54 runs of the innings arrived from 5 overs as Lancashire raced to a first-innings lead of 198 that soon looked far more imposing as the Hampshire wickets tumbled.
“It was an unbelievable day, a really good day for us,”said Vilas.
“Everything we wanted came good. We’re really happy how the whole day went.
“On a personal note, to get that a big score like that was good. I’m really happy.
Vilas has made a habit of making big scores once he has reached three figures. Seven of his 13 first-class centuries are ones of more than 150, and he added: “When you get to a hundred you want to go on and get a big hundred. They get you noticed. That’s what the team needs too.
“Sitting down and watching guys in the past, you see them get to a hundred and then lose concentration. It’s then difficult for the next guy coming in.
“I’ve been in that situation where guys get out having got a hundred, so I know how frustrating it is. I don’t want to be that guy who’s putting pressure on the next man in.
“We say in the dressing room, when it’s your day make sure you dig deep and go as big as you can for the team.
“So I’m happy that I went as big as I did today.”
“All the hard work you put in, the sweat, the tears – when you bat like that, it's what you work for, it's a brilliant feeling.”
Lancashire wrapped up an impressive victory over Hampshire by an innings and 30 runs midway through the final afternoon at Emirates Old Trafford to go second in the Specsavers County Championship table at the halfway stage of the season.
After 7 games, Essex are top with 114 points, Lancashire have 100, Yorkshire are third on 89 while Hampshire drop to fourth with 87.
Resuming their second innings on 50-5 and needing a further 148 runs to make Lancashire bat again, Hampshire lost an early wicket when Matt Salisbury edged James Anderson (4-20) to Dane Vilas at slip for 0.
Rain then help up play for just over one hour-with 18 overs lost-but Kyle Jarvis provided Lancashire with just the tonic they needed when he bowled Sean Ervine off an inside edge for 13 on the stroke of lunch to leave the visitors on 81-7.
Ryan McLaren had already seen some strong lbw appeals turned down before he successfully trapped Lewis McManus in front for 24, and the South African followed that with the wicket of Kyle Abbott, who gloved a pull behind to Alex Davies for 11 to leave the visitors on the brink of defeat.
Gareth Berg held up the inevitable with a nice cameo innings of 49 before he was last man out after also gloving an attempted pull to Davies, this time off Jarvis (3-49), as Lancashire wrapped up victory just after 3pm.
Lancashire’s next Championship game is the day/night match using a pink ball when they play Warwickshire at Edgbaston next week, 26-29 June (2pm start each day).
James Anderson hailed “a really good performance” after the Red Rose clinched their third Championship victory of the season.
“I thought we played really well throughout the game,” he said.
“We bowled well in the first innings, and thought the pitch was pretty flat. They batted well too, Bailey in particular.
“We were in trouble with the bat at one point but Al Davies first, and then Ryan and Dane got us up to a really good score. When you get to that sort of lead on a third and fourth day pitch, you’ve got a real shout.
“We knew if we put the ball in the right areas we could challenge them and take wickets. Our aim was to try and bowl straight, make them play as much as possible and challenge both sides of the edge which is what we did.
Anderson was full of praise for the contribution from Lancashire’s newcomers this season, Ryan McLaren and Dane Vilas.
“First of all they are really solid professionals who work really hard,” he said. “They set a great example to the other guys.
“Also they are quality crickets, both internationals, which helps. They’ve been fantastic additions, and they’ve had great starts to their Lancashire careers which is good for us.
Last season Lancashire led the Championship table at the halfway stage before falling away over the latter part of the campaign, so Anderson is not getting carried away with being second at the same stage this year.
“I think a lot of people wouldn’t have expected Essex and Lancashire to be first and second after seven games,” he said.
“We’re in a strong position and confidence is high in the group. We’ve got a lot of players playing well and a lot of competition for places as well which is healthy.
“We are not going to get carried away. We have a big game starting on Monday against Warwickshire, and if we can get a result there it will put us in a great position before we get to the back end of the summer.
“We will have last season in mind. We’ve got to make sure that what happened last year doesn’t happen again.
“I think we’ve got to look to keep improving as a team, there are areas where we can improve. We’ve got batsmen who are short of runs who can still help us out, and bowlers pushing for places in the team. We’ve got strength in depth, which should keep everyone on our toes, and that’s good.
“If we can keep improving on performances, and this week was a really good performance, we will be in a strong position at the end of the season.”