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MATCH REPORT: Rain ruins run chase as Lancs and Warwicks draw

MATCH REPORT: Rain ruins run chase as Lancs and Warwicks draw

Rain ruined the fourth day of this Vitality County Championship match as Lancashire and Warwickshire had to settle for a draw after the visitors declared on their overnight 96 for three, setting Lancashire 232 runs to win from a minimum of 44 overs.

But only 15 of those overs were bowled as rain, which had prevented play starting until 3.15pm, returned 75 minutes later to end proceedings early with the match eventually abandoned at 5.15pm.

The result means Lancashire gain 11 points and move off the foot of the Division One table while Warwickshire take 12 points to move up to seventh place.

The opening ten overs were a whirlwind of big shots and tumbling wickets as Lancashire went for their target in thrilling fashion.

Luke Wells fell early for one, pulling a short ball from Michael Rae straight to Jake Lintott on the square leg boundary.

Josh Bohannon drove his first ball for four and then steered a six over the third man boundary, both off Rae, but the visitors hit back with Jacob Bethell bowling Keaton Jennings attempting a reverse sweep for 18 and Bohannon launching Rae high but into the hands of Alex Davies at mid-on having made 15.

When George Bell fell in similar fashion, hitting Rae to Hassan Ali at mid-off for six, Lancashire were in a bit of trouble at 46 for four with 34 overs still to negotiate.

Tom Bruce and Matty Hurst steadied matters while still playing attacking shots, Bruce driving Bethell to long-on for four and then hitting the bowler for six to the same spot off the next ball.

The pair had added 43 runs off 34 balls to steer Lancashire to 89 for four when rain finally ended the game early.  

Attention now turns to with Thursday’s double-header at Emirates Old Trafford with Lancashire Thunder playing Central Sparks at 1pm in the Charlotte Edwards Cup and Lancashire Lightning opening their Vitality Blast campaign against Durham at 7pm.

“It was a brave declaration in many ways, and very gettable,” said Director of Cricket Performance, Mark Chilton. “Certainly, from the start we fancied it.”

“I think it’s fair to say the start to the season has been mixed, and on the whole we are disappointed,” he reflected on the first two months.

“I don’t think we can hide behind the fact that over the course of the seven Championship games we’ve not played to our usual standard.

“I think we know for sure that there’s more in the tank.

“There’s clearly been some positives. I think it was a fantastic result at Blackpool with some really good individual performances.

“Keats stood up in that game and he’s really led well from the start. The encouragement around some of the younger players’ performances show they are clearly capable of putting in some decent contributions at this level.

“We know we’ve got a crop of good young players and we’re always keen to try and find them game time. That’s their best chance of learning. We will definitely benefit from that.

“But overall, as a team we know we’ve fallen short of our expected standards across the course of these couple of months.

“That’s been frustrating for everyone.

“It’s not through lack of effort. Everyone is working hard, trying to think about how we can continue to keep improving. But, for whatever reason, we just haven’t quite clicked yet.

“We’ve got a change of format coming now, and that might kick start some individuals into finding some really good form for the rest of the year.”

Ken Grime
Photos: Barry Mitchell

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