LANCASHIRE CCC v ESSEX CCC County Championship June 11th

LANCASHIRE CCC v ESSEX CCC County Championship June 11th Old Trafford

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

A SEVENTH  wicket partnership of 131 in 41 overs between  Shiv Chanderpaul and Jordan Clark gave the Lancashire score some respectability after Essex had threatened to dismiss  the hosts for less than 150.

The pair came together in the second over after lunch when Dane Vilas played back to Sam Cook and missed a ball that would have knocked his  leg stump out.  Essex had chances to dismiss Chanderpaul before he reached fifty as he gave all the Essex seamers hope of getting him out when he played and missed at all of them.  But he did hit consecutive fours off Jamie Porter, the first  through mid wicket and the second through extra cover.  On 41 the whole Essex team went up for a catch behind off Chanderpaul off Sam  Cook but the umpire indicated it had hit his back pad.  But he battled his way to 58 the 221st time that he has passed 50 in a first class match.  

Chanderpaul went down the wicket to Simon Harmer and drove him to Sam Cook but the ball went straight through his hands to the boundary.  Essex finally got him when Harmer bowled him with an arm.  Three balls later Harmer got rid off Clark when he chopped on for 79 his highest score of the season.  It was Clark who brought up the fifty partnership with Chanderpaul with a streaky boundary through the vacant third man.  Two balls earlier he had been hit on the head by a ball that rose up at him off Neil Wagner.

In warm conditions Essex surprised many in the crowd by declining a toss and giving Lancashire a bat, by lunchtime Lancashire were struggling at 58 for four.

Essex got an early breakthrough when Alex Davies edged a drive off Porter to Harmer at second slip. Keaton Jennings looked in form but when he didn’t get over a drive off Porter he gave an easy catch to Dan Lawrence at gully.

Haseeb Hameed  again failed to deliver a big score.  He survived  a strong leg before shout from Wagner before  driving the next ball  to the extra cover boundary.  But it was a case of when Hammed would be back in the pavilion sooner rather than later and he gloved one that rose sharply at him and Adam Wheater took a tumbling catch to his right. Hameed‘ s last Championship fifty was at Taunton against Somerset last September.

Two balls  later Lancashire skipper Liam  Livingstone on four drove hard hard at Wagner and the ball hit Alastair Cook’s right hand  and he he couldn’t take the catch.  Livingstone didn’t move his feet to one that left him, hung his bat out and gave catching practice to Harmer at second slip.

Porter said: “We got the ball in the right areas and under the cloud cover it moved around in our favour and we got the rewards early on.  The way that Chanderpaul and Clark batted shows how good a pitch it is, they both batted well.  We bowled well at them and made them work hard for their runs.”  

In April Joe Mennie and Tom Bailey added 118 in 22 overs against Surrey, those hoping for repeat performance in the evening sunshine  were to be be disappointed.  On 13 Mennie drove Ravi Bopara to Lawrence at short cover who misfielded it and Bailey set off for a single. As Lawrence’s throw to Wheater came in Mennie decided to run.  With both batsmen stranded Wheater dropped the ball and Mennie beat his shy at the bowler's end.  This time they added 36 for the ninth wicket in 13 overs.  After delaying taking the new ball for three overs it was Sam Cook broke the partnership when he trapped Mennie leg before with one that came in at him.

Some big connections from Graham Onions saw him race to 40 from 27 balls and the fifty partnership with Bailey came from 36 balls.  Wagner was brought back into the attack and his saw the end of Onions when he backed away and edged it to Varun Chopra at first slip.  It was the sixth time that Onions has made it to the forties.

Porter added: “ Onions hit the ball on the up and got runs which shows how good the pitch is and that bodes well for us. We have guys who have come into this game who are in good form. If we can stop them getting 300 and we bat big we’ll have a chance of winning the game.”

Day 3

ESSEX beat Lancashire by five wickets  on a  remarkable third day which saw 294 runs, 19 wickets fall, two rapid response vehicles, one normal ambulance and one air ambulance.

Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer took nine wickets for 64 runs between then as Lancashire were bowled out in their second innings for  105.  At 41 for seven Lancashire were on course for their lowest score against Essex but their last three wickets added 64 in 15 overs with Joe Mennie hitting an unbeaten 32.  Tom  Bailey and Graham Onions supported him by getting 29 between them.

Essex skipper Ryan Ten Doscharte said: “To beat Lancashire twice in a season is a great achievement.  I thought Porter was fantastic today, he is consistent and he hits the seam every time. Hopefully he will play for England and that’s our job to produce players for England. I thought Harmer made it tough for them.

The wicket showed signs of being difficult from the first day. It was a massive new ball wicket  and it seamed when it hit the cracks. But after the first 20 overs it got easier to bat and we  would have been happy to chase 170 or 180.”

Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone said: “We could have played a lot better but sometimes you’ve got to hold your hand up and say you were beaten by a better side.  Our batters and I include myself in that haven't all clicked at the same time. We were oubatted and out bowled, its disappointing and it also hurts.

I thought that the pitch wasn’t perfect but both teams had to bat on it, we were beaten by a better side.  But it’s about time that we started learning. It’s up to us as players to go out and win games for Lancashire. You can’t be 40 for four and  41 for seven and expect to win games. We can’t blame the bowlers for losing this game.”

Trailing by one Lancashire got off to the worst possible start in their second innings  by losing Keaton  Jennings in the first over when he  edged the fifth ball from Porter which was angled across him to Harmer at second slip.  Worse was to follow, in the next over Alex Davies showed his bats makers name to Sam Cook, got an outside edge  and Alastair Cook at third slip took the catch in his midriff.

In the second over after lunch Haseeb Hameed pushed forward at Porter who took his outside edge to Adam Wheater.  Livingstone went for his shots  and reached 17 when he played back to a ball that kept low was leg before to Porter as he fell over. 

Harmer was bright into the attack and struck with his fifth ball when Dane Vilas went down the wicket to him and smashed the ball into Ten Doscharter’s midriff at short leg and it stuck.

Jordan Clark got stuck on his crease became Porter’s fourth victim with another one that kept low.   Lancashire hopes of getting 150 rested  with Shiv Chanderpaul  but he was another who was caught on the crease gave umpire Steve O’Shaughnessy an easy decision.

After adding 34 with Mennie, Bailey pushed forward at Harmer and the ball looped to Ten Doscharte at short leg.  It was a tame end to Bailey’s innings as he reversed swept Harmer earlier in in the over to the boundary.  He and Mennie added 34 in 13 overs for the eighth wicket.   

Onions went down the wicket to Harmer and lofted him to Alastair Cook on the long on boundary. Matt Parkinson was the last man when Essex decided they couldn’t get Mennie out and spread the field to him and allowed him to get a single.  It was tactic which Lancashire employed to the Essex last pair and it bit them as thery added 40 for the last wicket. But Mennie and Parkinson could only add 10 before Parkinson was bowled through the gate by Porter.

Varun Chopra doubled his first innings score then played down the wrong to Onions and lost his off stump.  Essex lost their second wicket when Cook tried to cut Onions but it was too close to him and Hameed at third slip took the catch at thge second attempt.

Essex lost their third wicket when Westley was squared up by Onions and edged him to Vilas.  At 41 for three Lawrence played a loose shot in the circumstances and lost his off stump when he was bowled through the gate by Mennie.

Ten Doscaharte cut Mennie  just over Davies at  cover to the boundary to take the required runs to 36. With 12 runs needed and just after the fifty partnership with Bopara was reached Ten Doscharte had a rush of blood and cue ended Parkinson to Davies at cover.

Two reverse sweeps by Wheater off Livingstone took the visitors to three short off their target. Bopara hit the winning runs when he swept Parkinson to fine leg boundary.

Play on the third day got underway on time and then was halted because aspectator was taken in ill behind the sight screens at the pavilion end.  One Paramedic

Rushed across the field while the other walked across the field.  They were soon joined by an ambulance,  two rapid responses and an air ambulance.  

When play resumed  Bailey took the four remaining. Essex wickets including three for four in 14 balls.  First to go was Harmer, who had outscored Wheater was the first to go when he pushed at Bailey and the ball came back into him.

Wheater was nearly cut in two by one that jagged back at him.  Two balls later Porter became Bailey’s third leg before victim of the morning in almost identical fashion.

With one wicket to take Lancashire decided they couldn’t get Wagner out and set  defensive fields.  As a result Wagner and Sam Cook added 42 for the last wicket. Ten Doscharte said: “I don’t think that we would have done that  but it was a hard fought game.”

Wagner hooked Mennie for a six over square leg and into the crowd. Sam Cook toe ended Mennie through the covers to take Essex into the lead.    Wagner tried to bludgeoned Bailey over mid wicket but Davies took a well judged catch running backwards.                              

FULL SCORECARD