Lancashire on top against Hampshire but relegation confirmed
Day Two Report from the Ageas Bowl
Lancashire have been relegated to Specsavers County Championship Division Two but are on course to beat Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Lancashire needed to reach a minimum of 300 and beat Hampshire, together with Nottinghamshire failing to reach 200 – which they did - and then lose to Somerset.
But after Fidel Edwards blasted through the tail with the second new ball they fell 27 runs short of the important 300 and relegation to the second tier was confirmed.
However, Lancashire are still on top of their clash at the Ageas Bowl as they restricted Hampshire to 178 for eight – the hosts leading by 92 runs.
Next season will therefore be the first time since 2015 that Lancashire will play their cricket in Division Two, on that occasion they only spent one year there before they were immediately promoted back to Division One.
They join Worcestershire, who were relegated last week against Essex, in dropping down this season.
Rob Jones had brilliantly batted Lancashire in the right direction to stay up with a morning half century.
Jones added 84-runs with Dane Villas for the sixth wicket, after Liam Livingstone had been yorked by Edwards in the second over of the day.
But despite his classy, attacking, fifty, Jones departed two overs after lunch when Ian Holland had him lbw – the Australian’s third wicket in figures of three for 48.
That left Lancashire needing 59 from the last three wickets, and Joshua Bohannon and Tom Bailey kept the score ticking to the second new ball.
But on 273, Kyle Abbott and Edwards reconvened and took three wickets between them.
Abbott needed just three deliveries to find the outside of Bohannon’s edge, with Joe Weatherley taking a good catch at third slip.
Former West Indian Test fast bowler Edwards completed the innings, to seal Lancashire’s fate, by bowling Bailey with a fierce full ball before Saqib Mahmood was leg before two balls later.
The difficulties of the fast bowler friendly pitch, despite blue skies above, were proven by Hampshire’s upper order.
With a first innings deficit of 86, Hampshire lost Oli Soames to a fine head high catch by Vilas at second slip, before Joe Weatherley was caught behind – both off the bowling off Richard Gleeson.
That brought Jimmy Adams to the crease for his final innings in first-class cricket, with a warm applause from the crowd and away team players.
He rode his luck when he was dropped by Jones at second slip on two, before departing lbw for 13, and ending on 14,145 first-class runs.
Bohannon then took three wickets to leave the hosts 88 for six.
The bowler had Sam Northeast lbw to the fifth ball after tea, James Vince caught behind and then, a ball later, Ian Holland bowled.
Liam Dawson and Lewis McManus added 43 for the seventh wicket to start a recovery, before the former was strangled down the legside.
Gareth Berg was caught at second slip but Kyle Abbott and McManus guided Hampshire to the close eight down.