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Parkinson best steers Lancs to three day victory against Sussex

Parkinson best steers Lancs to three day victory against Sussex

Lancashire made another big stride towards promotion after beating Sussex by an innings and 51 runs inside three days at Emirates Old Trafford with Matt Parkinson returning career-best match figures of 10-165, the first time the leg spinner has taken ten in a match.

The Red Rose top the Specsavers County Championship Division Two table tonight on 157 points and have put themselves into a strong position with four games remaining.

After a long run of four-day cricket, the team now have to focus on white ball cricket over the next five weeks before travelling to Colwyn Bay to play Glamorgan in the Championship on 18-21 August.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Dane Vilas’ side today with an attractive, attacking century by Delray Rawlins, well supported by 77 from David Wiese, holding up the Lancashire victory charge during the afternoon after the seam attack had induced an early morning collapse.

Richard Gleeson and Graham Onions did the damage during the first session, each taking two wickets to send Sussex slumping to 39-4.

Chopra was the first to go edging a lifting delivery from Gleeson to wicketkeeper Vilas for 15 in the fourth over of the day. The same combination were at work when Stiaan van Zyl gloved a leg side catch having made 6 while Onions trapped Luke Wells lbw for 0 and had Ben Brown caught on the drive by Haseeb Hameed at midwicket for 4.

Delray Rawlins countered with some big blows of defiance in rattling up a 50 partnership with opener Phil Salt off 51 balls including a straight six off Parkinson.

The leg spinner hit back on the stroke of lunch by bowling Salt for 37 after the opening batsman played back defensively and then watched in horror as the ball bounced back out of the adjacent bowler's footmarks and onto his stumps, ending a 78-run alliance from just 17 overs with Sussex 117-5 at the break.

Rawlins and David Wiese both went onto the attack when play resumed, each thumping a six in posting their fifty partnership off just 41 balls with Wiese going to his own half century from 35 balls. The Sussex duo’s approach produced a fascinating battle with Lancashire’s spinners during the afternoon as the visitors attempted to chip away at the huge first innings deficit of 367 runs.

The pair reached an entertaining century partnership off 76 balls with Rawlins going to his maiden first-class century off 99 balls in spectacular fashion after hitting Parkinson into the pavilion seats. But his enterprising innings ended from the very next delivery, Parkinson grabbing a smart catch off his own bowling and then trapping Wiese lbw for 77.

Gleeson (3-62) picked up a third wicket when the injured Chris Jordan, batting with a runner, edged behind for 11 shortly before tea and Onions (3-18) also took his third when Abi Sakande edged behind for 15 in the first over after the break.

Parkinson then wrapped up victory with his tenth of the match when trapping Mir Hamza lbw for 0 in the following over.  

A “proud” Dane Vilas hailed “a good team performance,” as Lancashire clinched a fifth Championship victory from ten matches.

“Everybody put their hands up,” he explained. “We started off well with the ball with Parky and Maxi getting us off to a great start.

“Then every batter got us off to a good start in the second innings, which was really nice and encouraging.

“It was a good all round team performance.”

Vilas highlighted the importance of the performance following a tough game at Northampton last week.

“We were behind the eight ball from the first day last week,” he said.

“So it was good we got a result and could see the last day out.

“We’ve had some games where teams have blocked out against us. So it was encouraging that we could do it too and show some fight.”

After losing the toss Lancashire’s bowlers responded brilliantly on the opening day with Vilas saying: “I think we bowled really well and put them under pressure the whole time.

“Credit to Parky and Maxi they were dangerous. It was incredible to see. That’s the sort of cricket we want to play and I hope they can continue it during the rest of the season.

“And then to have that opening stand in our innings and go past them with no wickets down was going to put us in for a good first innings.

“We had big partnerships, which was good, and we were pushing for as big a lead as possible.

“Getting close to five hundred runs, which we’ve not touched this season, was a great first innings with the bat.”

And Vilas was pleased to have clinched victory with a day to spare.

 “I’m happy that we could finish it off after tea on the third day. It was the perfect result for us.

“It gives us an extra day to prepare for the start of the T20 as well.

“I couldn’t be happier.”

Ken Grime
Photos: Barry Mitchell

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