Lancashire clinch a stunning victory against Somerset
REPORT: Day Four
Lancashire completed one of the most stunning comeback victories in their history on a sensational final day at Emirates Old Trafford today.
From a position of 42-6 on Friday and after being 169 runs behind on first innings on Saturday, the Red Rose side produced an outstanding batting performance yesterday and roared back in thrilling fashion on a Monday that will live long in the memory to bowl Somerset out for 130 and win by the convincing margin of 164 runs.
Set 295 to win in 77 overs, Somerset were blown away during the afternoon losing their last seven wickets for 52 runs with Ryan McLaren taking 4-37, Jordan Clark 3-12, James Anderson 2-30 and Kyle Jarvis 1-28 in a relentless bowling performance that asked questions of the Somerset batting line-up throughout.
It was all over by 4.30pm when McLaren bowled Tim Groenwald to claim his eighth wicket in the match that gave Lancashire 19 points from the match and sees them in second place in the table.
Lancashire started the final day on 423-7 in their second innings and 254 runs ahead.
McLaren and Stephen Parry provided a steady start by adding 37 runs during the first hour to extend their 8th wicket partnership to 77 runs before the loss of the last three wickets for 7 runs in 13 balls saw this game, once again, appear to change direction.
McLaren departed for 45, driving Lewis Gegory to Dean Elgar at mid-on, Jarvis was well caught by a diving Josh Davey at point for 0, and Parry was the last man out for a career-best 44 when edging Gregory behind, the bowler finishing with 5-74.
That left Somerset requiring 295 to win from a minimum of 77 overs and Marcus Trescothick survived an early scare, edging Jarvis high through the slip cordon when on 2 with the visitors reaching lunch on 29-0 from ten overs.
What followed during the afternoon session was sensational as the Red Rose attack took seven wickets to bring the prospect of an incredible victory well within sight.
Jarvis struck first trapping overseas opener Elgar lbw for 8 before Tom Abell followed for a duck after glancing McLaren down the leg side but only into the hands of wicketkeeper Alex Davies.
James Hildreth joined Trescothick to initially steady matters before the pair started to find the boundary with increasing regularity in adding 40 runs inside ten overs. But that was as good as it got for the visitors.
An outstanding spell from Anderson was the catalyst for a Somerset collapse as five more wickets fell for 31 runs with Trescothick the first to go for 36, the former England opener pushing forward hesitantly and glancing to McLaren at slip.
Anderson could have easily had more wickets such was the number of times he beat the bat, but the England paceman was soon celebrating a further wicket after he bowled Steven Davies for 3.
Peter Trego edged an attempted drive off Jordan Clark to Liam Livingstone at slip for 7, and both Hildreth, for 43, and Josh Davey (2) were lbw to McLaren to leave Somerset reeling at tea on 107-7.
The end followed swiftly after the break. Lewis Gregory was caught at slip by Livingstone off Clark for 4, Jack Leach cut a top edge off Clark down to Haseeb Hameed at third man without scoring, and McLaren clinched a famous victory by bowling Greonewald for a duck.
An early look at the record books has not uncovered a successful comeback win to compare with this, and Head Coach Glen Chapple could not recall being involved in anything quite like it when he spoke after the match.
Assessing the match and the win, Chapple said: “It came a lot faster than we expected. We thought it would go down to the last couple of overs.
“If it teaches us anything, it is how much you have to be ’on it’ all of the time.
“We had a tough first day, but we created belief that we can get over the line. If you have played well but keep drawing, that can sap your belief, but this is a really important one for us.
“We could have played better on the first day. I don't think any pitch at Emirates Old Trafford is a 109 all out pitch. But it was doing a fair bit and they did bowl well.
“The rest of the game was a sustained effort, determination, quality cricket and a team unit working together. It is a fabulous way to win.”
Chapple was full of praise for the way his side battled back from the first day.
“It needs a remarkable effort from a batting unit to pull a game like this around”, he said.
“The stand between Alex (Davies) and Liam (Livingstone) was of a high quality, and it is what we needed to have any chance.
“The level of application we showed was fantastic and a hint at what can be achieved.
“For a 22 and 23 year old to play like that was brilliant. The ability is there to see but to be able to do it for so long and adjust to different bowlers and patterns of play is a fantastic effort.
“We know we have a lot of promising youngsters, in fact they are more than quality youngsters they are quality cricketers now. But I think it is important we realise that sticking together as a unit carries a hell of a lot of weight.
“We have a good side, but so does every other team in this division. It is one win at the end of the day.
“We had two performances prior to this that were of high quality, where we didn't get the win, and that is what makes this one important because it shows that all the good work is paying off.”
“However much you talk about doing the right things and the results will come, you need a result.
“It is great to get over the line. But it is only one win.”
“There are other teams in the table who might be above us, but the cricket we have played in these three games stands up with anyone so far.
“We have to continue to progress and see where we can improve.”
Lancashire now take a break from Championship action until Yorkshire visit Emirates Old Trafford on May 19-22 with the Royal London One-Day Cup starting this Friday when Leicestershire are the visitors for a day/night match at Emirates Old Trafford starting at 2pm.
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