Chapple remains positive after Essex stalemate
The final day of Lancashire’s game with Essex petered out to a draw with further rain this morning preventing play until 1.40pm, which meant only a total of 176 overs were actually played over the four days.
Both Lancashire and Essex took 9 points from the game to leave a 36 point gap between the two sides at the top of the Specsavers County Championship table with three games remaining.
Essex eventually resumed their first innings on 115-4 but Ryan McLaren wasted little time before adding to his two wickets from yesterday with a couple more; Adam Wheater edging to Dane Vilas at gully for 21 and Ashar Zaidi edged behind to Jos Buttler for 6 to finish with figures of 4-45.
Tom Bailey then bowled James Foster for 17 and Jordan Clark trapped Harmer lbw for 11 on the stroke of tea to leave Essex on 172-8.
The visitors pushed on to claim a batting point courtesy of a partnership between Paul Walter (32 not out) and Jamie Porter (7 not out) at which point Essex declared on 202-8.
With no prospect of a result, the teams shook hands on a draw after Lancashire declared their second innings on 0-0 which took the game to the start of the final hour.
Head Coach Glen Chapple had no issues with the Essex declaration.
“I understand why they’ve done that and I’ve no problem with that,” he said. “They didn’t think they could get another batting point, the game was virtually over and they weren't going to risk losing another point to us.”
Chapple was happy with the cricket that was played by his Red Rose side adding:
“We’re pleased with our performance. To get stuck in on a damp pitch that seamed everywhere for a couple of sessions and reach 290 was a really good effort.
“It was great for Haseeb to bat for so long in testing conditions. Towards the end of our innings we showed we can bat all the way down with Tom Bailey and Stephen Parry making good scores.
“And we restricted Essex to less runs on a flatter pitch so from the cricket that was played we can be pleased with ourselves.
A draw always seemed the likely outcome, especially following this morning’s delay, and Chapple said:
“Today was about getting as many points as we could. We were thinking of potentially setting them a score if we’d been able to wrap up their innings a bit earlier, just to see what we could achieve.
“But there is still time left in the season. I don’t think Essex would have been interested in a testing target. But we wanted to just give it every chance we could and get as many points as we could.
Looking ahead to the three remaining games, Chapple added: “If we are honest, we need Essex to drop points and our responsibility is to win our games.
“If that happened, it is set for a very exciting finish to the season.
“Our job is to continue the cricket we have been playing until the end of the season – tough quality cricket.”
Photo: Simon Pendrigh