Saturday 7 – Monday 9 April 2018
Day One Report
Saqib Mahmood (3/53) took three wickets with Graham Onions (2/34) and Matthew Parkinson (2/31) taking two as Lancashire restricted Loughborough to 191/9 on the opening dayat the Haslegrove Ground.
Stand in Captain Haseeb Hameed won the toss and elected to bowl first on Saturday morning, but play was delayed by half an hour on the opening morning due to rain.
Onions and Mahmood opened the bowling for Glen Chapple's side and the former England bowler made the first breakthrough of the day in the 7th over trapping Sam Evans lbw.
Jordan Clark was introduced into the attack and soon dismissed Bracey (5) as wicket keeper Alex Davies took a good catch down the leg side to leave Loughborough 30/2 in the 15th over.
Lunch was taken with the hosts 61/2 and Mahmood soon made Lancashire's third breakthrough when he clean bowled Soames for 19.
The wickets continued for the visitors with Onions then taking his second wicket trapping Azad lbw for 33 before Mahmood took his second wicket bowling Hammond.
Tom Bailey then dismissed Tillcock for 23 to leave Loughborough struggling on 117/7.
Lancashire spinner Matthew Parkinson took two wickets removing Rishton and Rollings but Chris Sanders and Will Pereira frustrated the Lancashire attack putting on an unbeaten 50 partnership for the final wicket.
The players were brought off the field early due to bad light and Loughborough closed the day on 191/9.
Post-Match Reaction from Steven Croft
"Today was a good run out. Conditions were a bit difficult and damp this morning but the lads got on with it. The first two sessions went our way and then they fought back well at the end.
"We had a few games in Dubai and we’ve just come from Cardiff so fitness levels are getting to where they need to be in time for the start of the season. Getting overs under your belt is important and that experience out in the middle; there is nothing like it.
"I have been really impressed with Saqib. He obviously did very well for the Lions in the winter and bowled well up at Cardiff this week.
"I have been feeling really good all pre-season and the games have gone my way. I have got plenty of runs under my belt and hopefully I can continue with that going into the start of the season.
"We have still got Shiv and Livi to come into the side. I am sure there will be a few selection headaches and there will be a few disappointed people in the squad.
"I think that is what you want from the squad. You want everybody fighting for those few spots and it has definitely crossed my mind that there is no guarantee about being in the squad. It should spur us all on to perform better.
"Graham has been with us all winter and he is fitting in really well, not only on a personal level, but he is one of the senior players and he is really helping with the younger bowlers.
"We have got a good enough squad to compete on all fronts and in all competitions. We want to do better in the one-day stuff. We have underperformed in the last couple of years and we want to also be able to go one better in the Championship."
Day Two Report
Lancashire closed Day 2 on 145/3 after bowling Loughborough for 220 on a rain-affected day on Sunday.
Young Lancashire bowler Chris Sanders, who plays for Loughborough, completed an impressive maiden first class half century as he and William Pereira put on a frustrating 85 for the final wicket for the hosts.
Sanders (56) was eventually out, caught behind by Alex Davies off the bowling of Jordan Clark as the hosts were bowled out for 220 from 89 overs.
Lancashire opened with Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies and the latter made a positive start for the visitors hitting two early boundaries.
Davies was out for 20, bowled by Rollings before the same bowler saw off Haseeb Hameed (5) who came in at three.
Lancashire reached 68/2 at lunch.
Jennings and Dane Vilas made steady progress after the lunch break and after 30 overs, Lancashire were 114/2 before Jennings top edged Sanders with Rollings taking the safe catch.
Steven Croft came out at five for the visitors, but rain halted Lancashire's progress. The players were taken off at 3:30pm and didn't return.
Lancashire closed the day on 145/3 with Dane Vilas (49*) and Steven Croft (10*).
Post Match Reaction from Dane Vilas
"Obviously, the rain was frustrating but I am happy with my performance and to score 49. It is good to get out there and get used to the conditions.
"The rain is not ideal but we want to spend time out in the middle to be ready in time for next week.
"I have had a good winter back home scoring runs and now I am just happy to contribute and spend some time with the group. I have been very busy playing cricket back home for the Dolphins.
"It is a tough wicket and the outfield is slow, so you really have to work hard for your runs, but I am happy with how I have played.
"They did really well to fight back. I thought we were unlucky. The bowlers bowled really well and beat the bat a few times.
"It is a bit frustrating, but they put on that stand and made us work hard for it. It is a good chance to iron out some creases for us. You want a challenging game before the Championship matches start."
Day Three Report
Lancashire all-rounder Steven Croft hit an unbeaten 148 on the final day as Glen Chapple's side drew with Loughborough.
The visitors resumed on 145/3 after a rain-affected second day and Croft and Dane Vilas started steadily on another overcast day.
Vilas went to his half century and soon kicked on for Lancashire, as he particularly targeted the Loughborough pace attack.
The South Africa batsman was dismissed for 87, caught behind off Rishton and Lancashire took lunch with the score 260/4.
Croft upped the run rate in the afternoon session and was joined by Rob Jones who made a cautious start. The former Lancashire captain brought up his second century in just four days following a ton against Glamorgan with the Red Rose going strongly on 336/4 in the 90th over.
Rob Jones finished unbeaten on 38 as Lancashire posted 369/4 from 102 overs.
Lancashire's opening Specsavers County Championship fixture of the season starts on Friday as Nottinghamshire visit Emirates Old Trafford.