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Lancashire CCC - Specsavers County Championship
Report: Lancashire v Surrey, Specsavers County Championship
A career-best 4-50 by Saqid Mahmood was the highlight of a fascinating first day at Emirates Old Trafford with Lancashire 17-0 after Surrey opted to declare their first innings on 201-8 late in the final session.
On a day where generally cloudy conditions meant the floodlights were in action from the start, Lancashire captain Steven Croft must have been delighted with the efforts from his bowlers after winning the toss.
Tom Bailey, Ryan McLaren and Saqib Mahmood combined to give Surrey’s openers a difficult start, although Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman deserve credit for the way they battled hard against the amount of movement extracted by the Red Rose attack in overcast conditions.
Burns had an early scare when dropped at third slip on 0 although it was a difficult chance going high to the slip cordon off the bowling of Bailey.
Having survived well into the second hour of the morning, and compiling a resolute opening stand of 47 runs from 19 overs, it was Burns who was first out for 18 after mis-timing a pull off Mahmood to gave an easy lofted catch to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-on.
Four runs had been added in five overs when Stoneman, on 23, decided to play no shot to Matt Parkinson’s fifth delivery of the day only to see the leg spinner find sharp turn out of the rough to knock back his off stump.
Kumar Sangakkara, playing in his final first-class game, received a guard of honour from Lancashire’s players and a standing ovation from the spectators, but the Sri Lankan came close to returning to the dressing room three balls later when his pull shot off Stephen Parry only just made it over the rope and the outstretched hands of Rob Jones on the mid-wicket boundary.
Surrey reached lunch on 72-2 but lost Sangakkara for 14 early in the afternoon when the left hander pulled Mahmood high to Jones who took a nicely judged catch at fine leg.
Mahmood, returning for his third first-class match of the season, took his third wicket of the day by trapping Scott Borthwick lbw playing back for 30.
Parry found turn to bowl Ben Foakes for 10 to reduce Surrey to 112-5 but it proved to be the last delivery before rain forced the players off for an early tea.
That left a final session of 46 overs to be bowled in which Oli Pope and Sam Curran fought back well with a partnership of 54 runs in 19 overs.
Both put bat to ball with conviction but also had moments of luck, Pope dropped at slip and Curran-beaten all ends up-somehow inside edged millimetres past his leg stump with Parry the unlucky bowler on both occasions.
Pope was the next to depart for 22, swinging wildly but beaten in the flight by Parkinson to be stumped by Alex Davies, the wicketkeeper a proud recipient of his County Cap at the start of play.
Curran and Rikki Clarke dug in with a dogged alliance of 17 runs that took 11 overs as the Lancashire bowlers re-established their grip, before Clarke was lbw to Mahmood for 7 to give the bowler his fourth wicket.
Surrey skipper Gareth Batty flicked Parry to Parkinson at mid-wicket to depart without scoring to leave the visitors on 184-8.
Curran reached his half century after two hours of resistance from 106 balls to finish on 56 not out when the visitors declared on 201-8 leaving Lancashire 9 overs to bat.
Alex Davies and Rob Jones survived the late test to reach the close with Lancashire on 17-0.
This was Saqib Mahmood’s first first-class game at Emirates Old Trafford and he said: “ It’s one I won’t forget in a hurry!
“For me It was more excitement this morning (about playing here).
“It’s a year on since I made my first-class debut and I’ve played at Southport and Headingley and to finally get a game here, I was looking forward to it more than anything.
As far as the day itself panned out, Mahmood added: “I think from a bowling point of view we couldn’t have done any more today.
“I thought Tom Bailey in the first session was outstanding. He didn’t get much reward. But he set the tone for us.
“We stuck at it throughout the day and to restrict them to 200, even though they declared, was good. The wicket looks like its flattening out now.”
Mahmood did express some surprise at getting to bowl first.
“The wicket looked quite good at the toss but with the overhead conditions this morning we thought they would bowl first.”
The declaration caught many in the ground by surprise and it didn’t go down too well with the young pace bowler, as he explained.
“I was so annoyed!” he said. “I was on a four-for and every ball I felt like I was going to get another wicket. Then they go and declare. So I wasn’t happy!”
Mahmood was sanguine about the reason behind the declaration.
“If they’ve done it for points reasons, I don’t think it will make too much of a difference,” he said.
“Hopefully there will be a result at the end of this game. I can’t see it being a draw unless we lose time to the weather.
“The game is moving forward quickly. Hopefully it’s put them in a bad position.
Mahmood is determined to finish the season on a high saying: “this is a one-off game. For me I’m just trying to stake my claim as much as I can.
“This game is a great opportunity to go out there, try show what I can do and hopefully be in that first eleven next year.
“Just being exposed to first class cricket (has meant) I’ve learned a lot in the games I’ve played earlier on.
“If I can learn a lot from this year and take it in to winter training, hopefully come April next year I will be a lot better bowler for it.
The fast bowler is not short of sound advice from close quarters.
“At one point I had Shiv at mid-on and Macca at mid-off,” he said.
“So you’re not short of experience there. They are constantly in your ear and get you thinking about what you are bowling, so you don’t just bowl nothing balls. You are thinking about every ball you deliver.
“I must credit my first wicket to Shiv. I hadn’t bowl a short ball and he said ‘be unpredictable with this ball’, so I thought I’d bowl a short one and luckily it took a wicket and Shiv took the catch!
“So having those two there is quality, especially when they are at mid-off or mid-on right next to you.
Mahmood’s second wicket was a special one, that of Kumar Sangakkara.
“We had a plan of how to bowl to him at lunch,” he said.
“To just come out and nail it; I couldn’t believe it had come off! Great scalp!
Indeed, and it was just one part of a thoroughly fascinating and enjoyable first day with hopefully more to follow tomorrow.
Play starts at 10.30 am , with 104 overs to be bowled with play extended by 30 minutes.
Report: Lancashire v Surrey, Specsavers County Championship
A century from Steven Croft proved vital as Lancashire recovered from a pre-lunch collapse to finish more or less level with Surrey after the second day of this Specsavers County Championship match.
The visitors ended the day on 79-0 in their second innings to lead by 12 runs after Lancashire scored 268 in their first innings.
Resuming on 17-0 in bright, sunny conditions Alex Davies and Rob Jones continued to build on their good work from the previous evening, Davies in particular quick to pounce on any wayward deliveries in adding six boundaries with some lovely attacking strokes.
The opening pair in fact looked relatively untroubled during the first ninety minutes in taking their partnership to 69 with Jones providing solid support to the more adventurous Davies who reached 1,000 first-class runs this season during his innings, becoming the first Lancashire wicketkeeper to reach this milestone-a fantastic achievement.
The rest of the morning proved to be much less rosy for Lancashire as Surrey hit back with five wickets for 11 runs in 11 overs to bring themselves right back in to the game.
Jones edged Rikki Clarke to second slip for 15, Liam Livingstone was lbw to Gareth Batty for 1 and three balls later Davies, having made 54, looped a Clarke delivery to Mark Stoneman at mid-wicket off a leading edge.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was adjudged lbw to the excellent Clarke for 1 before Dane Vilas also departed lbw to off spinner Batty for 2 from the last ball of the morning to leave Lancashire in trouble on 84-5, still 117 runs behind.
It was captain Croft who led the recovery after lunch, initially with Ryan McLaren who made a determined 16 in nearly an hour before falling lbw to Batty in a partnership worth 56 runs.
Tom Bailey produced an excellent innings of 31 from 49 balls in support of his skipper to add another 63 runs in 17 overs and take Lancashire past Surrey’s first innings 201-8 declared before cutting leg spinner Scott Borthwick to Ollie Pope at backward point.
A third consecutive fifty partnership then took the Red Rose further ahead with Stephen Parry lending great support to Croft who went on to reach a marvellous century, his first of the season, from 161 balls when driving his fourteenth boundary joyously through cover off Batty.
The visitors declined the opportunity to take the new ball for nine overs, persisting with their spin attack, but Lancashire’s innings ended quickly once the new cherry came in to use with three wickets falling in three overs.
Croft glanced the first delivery from Sam Curran down the leg side to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes for to bring his innings to a close on 115, with Parry caught at slip for 20 and Mahmood the last man to go with the total on 268.
That left the visitors 67 runs in arrears with 18 overs to bat, but Rory Burns (27 not out) and Stoneman (44 not out) survived the odd anxious moment to clear the deficit and prosper during the evening sunshine with Surrey nudging ahead at the close on 79-0.
“It was a good day with the bat,” said Steven Croft. “We would have liked a bigger lead but I thought we did really well and got into a great position.
“I was a little bit disappointed with the way we bowled tonight. We leaked a lot of runs where we were looking at getting two or three wickets. It was a little bit of a downer on the day but it’s still all to play for.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow, Croft added: “It’s a good wicket with a little bit of turn. We hopefully will turn it around with the ball tomorrow morning and get a couple of early wickets.
“We still feel confident of chasing a score, it’s a nice deck.
Following a good stat Lancashire were pegged back with Croft saying: “the first session today was one of two halves.
“I thought Jonesy and Alex set a good foundation but when (Rikki) Clarke came on he bowled and to his credit bowled a really good spell. He really tested us.
“It was good to get some partnerships after lunch with the lower order. It felt that once you spent some time at the crease, you felt more comfortable, and I was very pleased to have got some runs myself.
“I’ve never really felt out of nick. I’ve got starts when I’ve been out there at the crease, and felt good in the nets, so it’s been a strange season really.
“Hopefully I can build on this now and keep looking forward.
“To get that (hundred) at Emirates Old Trafford was very pleasing for me personally and hopefully it contributes to a Lancashire win.“
Report: Lancashire v Surrey, Specsavers County Championship
Liam Livingstone with a career-best 6-52 and Stephen Parry with 4-59 combined to give Lancashire a great chance of victory after three days of this Specsavers County Championship match that will decide who finishes as runners-up.
Having bowled Surrey out for 268 in their second innings, Livingstone, Alex Davies and Rob Jones then steered the Red Rose to within 44 runs of their target before bad light halted play at 4.50pm before rain then saw play abandoned.
Lancashire will start tomorrow on 132-3 with Livingstone 51 not out accompanied by Shivnarine Chanderpaul on 14 not out.
The story of the day belonged to Lancashire spinners Livingstone and Parry who produced a marvellous performance to turn Red Rose fortunes around after Surrey’s opening batsmen Mark Stoneman and Rory Burns had dominated the first hour of the day.
Resuming on 79-0, the pair added 75 runs in 16 overs with several fours struck to the vacant third man boundary as Lancashire kept attacking fields.
Stoneman had played the more aggressive role and looked destined to reach three figures, but he was the first wicket to fall after edging Livingstone to Dane Vilas at slip for 98 from just 113 balls.
That proved to be the first of four wickets to fall in 12 balls for the addition of 6 runs as once again this unpredictable match took another twist.
Burns was lbw to Parry for 45, Scott Borthwick edged Livingstone to Vilas at slip for 4 and Ben Foakes turned his first ball from Livingstone to a diving Parry at short mid-wicket.
By then Kumar Sangakkara, playing his final first-class innings and once again warmly greeted to the crease by both players and crowd, soon found himself the central to the visitors’ hopes of a setting Lancashire a defendable target.
The Sri Lankan could do nothing but watch though as three more wickets fell in quick succession.
Ollie Pope tried to attack Livingstone but only skied the ball out to Saqib Mahmood at deep square leg having made 3, Sam Curran was beaten by a beautiful turning delivery from Parry to be out first ball and Rikki Clarke, having thumped one six past the Pavilion and into the car park, was lbw to Livingstone for 13 from the last ball before lunch with Surrey 197-7 and 130 runs ahead.
The visitors rebuilt after the break with Sangakkara finally getting good support from skipper Gareth Batty. The pair added 44 runs for the eighth wicket with Batty scoring 33 of them including two sixes.
Having hit Livingstone into the stands at mid-on, Batty perished attempting to repeat the shot from the next delivery but instead skied a catch back to the bowler, and that dismissal heralded the end of the innings.
It was Parry who wrapped things up, bowling Stuart Meaker first ball and two balls later trapping Jade Dernbach lbw to end the visitors’ innings on 268 with Sangakkara stranded on 35 not out.
Incredibly ten wickets had fallen for 88 runs inside 30 overs following an opening partnership of 154.
It meant Lancashire needed 176 to win and Davies with a typically forthright innings of 30 got the Red Rose reply off to a flying start, hitting seven fours before falling lbw to Clarke.
Jones went on to make a useful 35 and give solid support to Livingstone who struck seven fours and reached his half century with a six off Borthwick over long-on.
There was a slight wobble when Jones was caught by Meaker at deep mid-wicket off Batty and Steven Croft was unlucky when a short delivery from Clarke hit his glove, looped up over his shoulder and fell onto the wickets to bowl the Lancashire skipper for a duck with the score then 92-3 with 84 runs required.
Livingstone, well supported by Chanderpaul, settled any nerves and will return tomorrow morning looking to clinch a fifth win of the season.
“After the first hour we thought we were looking at a long day in the field,” admitted Livingstone.
“But we managed to turn it around, and it is exciting going into tomorrow now.”
And Lancashire’s six-wicket hero revealed he didn’t even expect to bowl today.
“I didn't bowl in the warm-ups this morning,” he said. “I just expected to be stood in the field watching Pazza and Matt Parkinson take the wickets.
“But it was one of those days that things happened quite quickly.
“I was having a laugh with Jarv at the start of the day wondering if I would get a five-wicket haul before I retire, and he was talking about getting a hundred. It's just down to him now!”
It was Livingstone who broke the big opening partnership built by the Surrey openers and he said: “It was easier for me against the left-handers because there was a bit of rough.
“We came on to try and shut it down and stop them scoring.
“It was one of those weird days, when you lost one wicket you could lose five or six and it is up to us tomorrow to stop that happening and get the runs we need.
“We are in a good position, but they were in a good position at 154-0 so we won't be taking anything for granted.
“We have a big job in the morning and, hopefully, we can finish the season on a high and get what we deserve.”
Report: Lancashire v Surrey, Specsavers County Championship
Liam Livingstone and Shivnarine Chanderpaul took just 5.5 overs to wrap up Lancashire’s fifth victory of the season and in the process clinch the Specsavers County Championship runners-up spot at the expense of visitors Surrey.
Lancashire finished second in the table on 176 points, our highest position since the title-winning season of 2011 and this fourth win at Emirates Old Trafford is the most at headquarters since 2000.
Surrey finished in third place on 163 points.
Both Chanderpaul and Livingstone were into their stride quickly this morning picking up a boundary apiece in the first two overs and that positive start continued with the pair racing to the victory target in only 25 minutes of play.
The end came swiftly as 23 runs were plundered from one over from Scott Borthwick, Livingstone pulling the first ball for six over long-on and Chanderpaul then hitting consecutive sixes followed by a drive for four to clinch victory.
Livingstone finished what has been a fine game for him on 69 not out while Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 43 with Lancashire taking 20 points from the game and Surrey 4 points.
“It was a tough low scoring game, which is unusual at Emirates Old Trafford, said Head Coach Glen Chapple.
“It was quite stressful because we knew from the start it was going to be a result and that we had to win it to finish second, so we are delighted with coming out on top.”
It was a positive way to finish the season, which Chapple acknowledged.
“The amount of work the lads have put in (this season), and challenging for first place for much of the time in such a tough division, we were determined to finish well having lost the previous two games.
“To win here was a great effort by the boys.”
Liam Livingstone had a fine game contributing with both bat and ball and Chapple said: “Liam has had a good season but for him to take wickets and turn the game for us, that’s another dimension to his game.
“He’s had a great game.
And Chapple reflected on his first season in charge adding: “I’m proud of how the players have performed.
“They’ve given everything all season. They’ve been determined and resilient and haven’t taken a backwards step.
“We’ve had tough days and tough matches.
“The hunger’s been there all year and we’ve taken it right to the end of the season.
“To come second in a tough division, we have to be pleased with our efforts.
“Obviously teams want to win trophies but this is a good step forward from where we’ve been and we have to be pleased with it.
“We have to consider ourselves as a developing team.
“We’ve got young players both at the top of the order and we have young bowlers coming through and doing well.
“We’ve been solid and we are looking to build on that.”