Lancashire stage a good fightback against Surrey
Lancashire stage a good fightback against Surrey
Lancashire staged a great recovery after being put in to bat, reaching the close of the second day of this Specsavers County Championship match against Surrey on 352-8 thanks to three half-centuries from Jordan Clark, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Steven Croft.
In damp and seaming conditions, the Red Rose made a poor start with the first three wickets falling for 15 runs in the space of 18 balls. Haseeb Hameed edged Jane Dernbach to Dean Elgar at second slip for 4 while Alex Davies departed for the same score to a superb diving catch by Matt Dunn at short midwicket after the batsman had driven forcefully at a Dernbach half volley. Keaton Jennings had essayed two lovely cover drives for four during the opening half hour before he became the third man out falling lbw to Sam Curran for 15 two deliveries later with Lancashire in peril at 23-3.
Three consecutive boundaries off Dernbach by Liam Livingstone were the first stirrings of a fightback, followed swiftly by Shivnarine Chanderpaul who stroked a further three fours from Ryan Patel's first over. A cut for four by Livingstone brought up the fifty partnership and Lancashire went in to lunch in a much happier state on 94-3, but that mood was soon punctured after lunch when Livingstone was lbw to Dernbach for 48 to end an 88-run partnership.
Dane Vilas responded with three consecutive boundaries off Matt Dunn but then fell to a quite brilliant one-handed catch by Scott Borthwick at second slip, diving low down to his right off Sam Curran-brought on to replace Dunn, for 13 with the score a precarious 128-5 in 44th over.
Steven Croft, who had replaced Matt Parkinson in the only change from last week’s match against Essex, helped to rally the innings, sharing a gutsy 78-run partnership with Chanderpaul across the rest of the afternoon. Chanderpaul had looked fairly untroubled throughout, reaching his half century off 123 balls, and he brought up Lancashire’s first batting point of the season with three boundaries in four balls off Patel just before tea. Unfortunately the Guyanan left-hander departed for 65 in the last over before the break when his mistimed lofted drive off spinner Amar Virdi found Borthwick at mid-off to leave Lancashire on 206-6.
Croft, with two centuries to his name already this season, had driven Curran for consecutive fours before tea and he went on to reach an 81-ball half-century with a six over mid-wicket off Virdi in the second over of the evening. However, he became the seventh wicket to fall with the total on 252, after making 62 when edging an attempted sweep off Virdi that was well caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes running round to the leg side.
Having joined forces with Croft straight after tea, Jordan Clark produced a hugely impressive innings batting from the number 8 spot. A couple of crunching boundaries off Dunn in the first over of the evening session set the positive tone that persisted through the final part of the sunny but chilly day with Curran, having taken the new ball, later despatched for consecutive fours. The fifty partnership arrived from 98 balls when Clark drove Virdi through extra cover for four, with Joe Mennie contributing only eight runs but invaluable support at the other end.
The pair had extended their alliance to 69 runs with seven overs of the day left when Surrey produced the third great catch of the day, Ollie Pope somehow diving to his left and holding on to a fiercely struck slog/sweep from Clark off Virdi; the bowler delighted, the batsman disbelieving but out for an otherwise excellent 78.
Mennie followed his innings of 56 at Chelmsford last Monday with another nicely judged innings of 35 and he will resume tomorrow morning with Tom Bailey (15 not out), the pair steering Lancashire to a third batting point just before the close, with the Red Rose on 352-8.
For Jordan Clark, a second successive half-century was made more enjoyable by being at Emirates Old Trafford.
“I loved every minute,” he said. “That’s my job down the order, to try and bat with the tail or support the batters in front of me. And scoring some runs on home turf too. I really enjoyed it.”
Twelve months ago Clark scored his maiden first-class century against Surrey and the all-rounder added: “A personal aim of mine is to be consistent throughout the season. I know it’s only the start but to back up last week’s innings is important for me and important for the team.
Looking over the past year he said: “I think I’ve progressed a lot (in the last 12 months). I talked with the coaches about my mental approach over the winter. I’ve carried on working on the same drills and working on the same things as last winter, but at the same time I’ve worked on trying to stay focussed.
“I’m trying to understand what works best for me, and holding onto that focus a lot longer, and applying it more often.
Clark acknowledged it had been a tricky start to the day in difficult conditions saying: “It was a good recovery (from 23-3 this morning). In all fairness, the pitch has got a lot better. It’s dried out and you can see the colour of the pitch has changed. So it did get a bit easier.
“Now it is a really good pitch and we’ve got two wickets left for us to capitalise on a decent score.
Clark also paid tribute to Ollie Pope’s astonishing catch.
“It was a great catch, wasn’t it?” said. “I was a bit shocked that he caught it, and I think he still had his helmet on (from fielding at bat/pad the ball before)! “But fair play to him.”
Play tomorrow starts at 11am, with another 104 overs to be bowled.
Photo: Simon Pendrigh