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Derbyshire fixture rounds off pre-season

Derbyshire fixture rounds off pre-season

The second day of the friendly at Chester Boughton Hall completes the short 2020 pre-season

Lancashire rounded off their pre-season preparations with the second day of a friendly against Derbyshire at Chester Boughton Hall.

Following an intra-squad friendly and a visit to Yorkshire last week, this represented the Red Rose's final chance for practice ahead of the opening Bob Willis fixture against Leicestershire on Saturday.

In the first 30 overs, Derbyshire reached 70/1 before making way for the hosts to return to the crease.

Lancashire then batted until the close reaching 143/6, bolstered by 41 from George Balderson and 39 by the returning Steven Croft.

Their target for 'victory' was technically 145 but the nature of this practice fixture meant it was never really about the result but to give players meaningful time on the field, as evidenced by the amount of bowlers used on both sides.

The sole wicket of the morning went to Ed Moulton, the young right-arm seam bowler, who trapped Luis Reece LBW.

Leus du Plooy finished unbeaten on 46 accompanied by Matt Critchley on 7 as Dane Vilas shared the workload between bowlers.

In response, Lancashire opened with Balderson and Alex Davies, with Keaton Jennings making way after already spending valuable time in the middle over the last week.

Davies and Rob Jones lost their wickets early on but Balderson and Croft put on a 69-run stand, the latter having his first bat of the pre-season after missing last week's fixtures as a precaution with a calf niggle.

The all-round pairing found the off-side particularly fruitful, both crashing boundaries backward of square in the final overs before tea.

After the break Croft departed to Critchley and Luke Wood was bowled by du Plooy, either side of Balderson's retirement from the crease.

Liam Hurt made 28, with Tom Hartley and Graham Onions not out at the close.

All eyes are now on Blackfinch New Road for the start of the 2020 season this weekend.

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