Lancashire secure draw against Hampshire
Lancashire were made to follow-on during the fourth afternoon of their Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, but they held on for the draw.
The Red Rose slipped from 310-4 overnight to 387 all out just after lunch as they replied to the hosts’ first-innings 548-6 declared.
But, given Hampshire enforced the follow-on with a minimum of 58 overs remaining in the match, their chances of a win were slim in largely good batting conditions.
And so it proved, as Lancashire finished on 98-3 from 51 overs and took seven points from the match.
Captain Steven Croft finished with 78 in Lancashire’s first innings having started day four unbeaten on 41.
He was the visitors’ fourth fifty-maker in their top five and later opened the batting in their second innings, making 22. It was his own idea having gotten himself used to conditions before lunch.
Haseeb Hameed finished unbeaten on 53 off 146 balls, his second half-century of the match.
Leg-spinner Mason Crane took three of Lancashire’s six first-innings wickets to fall today, while England T20 left-arm spinner Liam Dawson added two.
They finished with 3-87 and 3-63 respectively in the first innings before Dawson returned 3-22 from 18 second time around.
“We are disappointed to have only come out with seven points, but the draw was important,” said Giles.
“We came here wanting to win the game, but I think we were on the wrong end of the toss. It was a really important toss.
“They still played very well. Will Smith played well for them up front.
“Conditions today were much more challenging. By the end of the third day, it started to spin a bit more and bite. We knew it would be challenging.
“All our focus was getting past that follow-on. We didn’t manage that and in the end we’re fine.
“We could have been a bit more ruthless in trying to get that follow-on, but that’s my only complaint. Otherwise, I think we’ve fought extremely well over the last couple of days.”
Night-watchman Simon Kerrigan fell to the day’s sixth ball, caught behind off Crane before Liam Livingstone lost his off-stump to Ryan McLaren as he offered no shot.
Jordan Clark was then caught at second slip off Crane, who later wrapped up the innings by getting Croft stumped.
Sandwiched in between, Dawson bowled Tom Moores, who had slog swept a six in his 18, in the final over of the morning and got Kyle Jarvis caught at slip either side of the lunch break.
Croft and Hameed were understandably watchful in Lancashire’s second innings, with 17 runs coming off the first 17 overs, including Dawson taking the new ball.
They reached tea at 37-0 from 25 overs.
Croft then fell to the first ball of the evening session for 22, caught at silly point off Dawson, who had Luke Procter caught at silly mid-on shortly afterwards as the score slipped to 47-2 in the 28th over.
Hameed hit successive boundaries off Crane in the 31st over, one pulled and the other driven, to move to 27 and take the score to 59-2.
Unfortunately, the score soon became 61-3 as Alviro Petersen prodded Dawson to silly point in the 34th over.
Hampshire skipper Will Smith opted to go on beyond 5pm, the earliest time a draw could have been called, with Lancashire at 78-3 from 41 overs.
Hameed reached his second fifty off the match off 142 balls with seven fours as he and Livingstone, 13 not out, saw Lancashire to safety.
Sixth-placed Lancashire will go into their 12th match of the campaign, against Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford on Saturday, 23 points behind leaders Middlesex and only 29 ahead of second-bottom Nottinghamshire.