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Five wickets for Parkinson as Somerset game ends in a draw

Five wickets for Parkinson as Somerset game ends in a draw

Five wickets for Parkinson as Somerset game ends in a draw

Lancashire’s bowlers made a great effort to push for victory on a hot and sunny day at Emirates Old Trafford, with Matt Parkinson taking a five-wicket haul, but they were denied by a determined rear-guard action from Somerset’s lower order batsmen during the second half of the day.

Wickets fell in clusters at different points of the final day of this Specsavers County Championship match to raise Red Rose hopes, none more so when Parkinson dismissed visiting skipper Tom Abell to leave Somerset on 145-6 and just 82 runs ahead nearly halfway through proceedings.

But Jack Leach, who had previously scored only one first-class half-century before-on this ground twelve months ago-batted resolutely for 146 minutes to make a vital, career-best 66. He received great support from Craig Overton who supplied a limpet-like innings of 5 that spanned 71 minutes to help post a 52-run partnership for the seventh wicket before tea, and Tim Groenewald who contributed 36 to another fifty partnership for the eighth wicket after the break to steer Somerset safely through to a draw.

Leach departed moments before the end when he became Parkinson’s fifth victim to give the young leg spinner his second career five-wicket return, and the players shook hands two overs later.

Lancashire had made the ideal start to the day with two early wickets; Matt Renshaw lofted a drive off Parkinson only to be well caught by Tom Bailey running back from mid-off without adding to his overnight score of 20, and James Anderson then trapped George Bartlett lbw for 6 to leaved Somerset-without Marcus Trescothick who was only available to bat at number 11 if required following his broken toe injury-on 67-2.

Steve Davies and James Hildreth combined well in a 53-run partnership but both perished in quick succession to Parkinson who was finding increasing turn; Davies pushing forward gave  Steven Croft a catch at short leg after making 54 while Hildreth went lbw for 26 playing back with the visitors 120-4 and only 57 runs ahead.

Abell and Lewis Gregory added a further 23 runs before lunch but Gregory departed for 13 without addition to the score straight after the break, edging Joe Mennie to Liam Livingstone at slip. Two runs later Abell followed-lbw to Parkinson for 13-to leave Somerset on 145-6.

It looked promising for Lancashire at that point but the visitors rallied with Leach, Overton and Groenewald demonstrating great resilience through the remainder of the day.

MATCH CENTRE

Leg spinner Matt Parkinson thought it had been a good effort to push Somerset all day at Emirates Old Trafford.

“Obviously it was a bit frustrating to have drawn,” he said. “When you look at the first three days and only 20 wickets fell, to get ten in a day would have been a big ask. Getting eight on a fairly placid track that did spin a bit was a great effort from the lads.

“When we got Gregory and Abell that was probably when we had our last hope of trying to force something. But fair play to Leachy. For a number nine he batted really well on that wicket.”

“We had the better of the four days, on a flat wicket and we bowled fairly well in the first innings. For us to get 492 and Dane a double hundred was fantastic.

“I think for us to have even a glimmer of hope by tea on day four was a good effort.”

Parkinson’s eight wickets in the match is a career-best and he added:

“It was nice for me to be landing the ball well and when I got those two wickets together that was when we had our best chance of rolling them over. I was very pleased with how I went today.

“I was injured at the start of last season. So coming into this season on the back of a decent winter I didn’t have any expectations of playing, but I thought I could force my way in and to play two of the four games has been great. Fingers crossed I can play in the next ten and have a strong season for the club.”

Glen Chapple admitted to a bit of frustration over the result, but couldn’t fault the effort that very nearly led to a different outcome.

“I think when you are on top it’s slightly frustrating (to have drawn),” said Lancashire’s Head Coach. “We played well enough to give ourselves a good chance of winning. We just ran out of time.

“In an ideal world we would have liked a bigger lead. That’s asking for a lot given that we made almost 500 batting second. There was a chance for us to have made a few more but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. To have a better chance of forcing a victory we probably needed another 50 or 60 runs. Having said that Dane made 235 which is an incredible effort and Keaton made a century-it was a good effort.

“The bowler’s effort levels in this match were tremendous. That’s what you ask for day in, day out.

“Coming in this morning you could tell the lads were all geared up for winning the game, and they left nothing out on pitch.

“Last week’s effort against Surrey was very high quality, and we bowled well this game. There were small areas where we could have pressed a bit better but you can’t take anything away from the effort.

Chapple also reflected on the start to the season.

“To lose two and draw two is disappointing,” he said. “But the cricket we’ve played in the last two matches is very encouraging.

“I think most people who have watched the start of the season know the first two or three rounds are something of a lottery. We know we could have done certain things better.

“But the last two games we’ve dominated against two good teams. So we’ve got to take a lot of heart from that, and go into next week with a lot of confidence that we are playing good cricket.”

 
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