Lancashire v Surrey April 27-30th

Day 1 No play

Day 2

AN eighth wicket partnership 69  in 20 overs between Jordan Clark and Aussie Joe Mennie gave Lancashire the edge over Surrey on day two of their clash at Emirates Old Trafford.

After the first day’s play was washed out play got underway on the second day on time  and Clark top scored with 78 and Amar Verdi took three wickets for Surrey.  Three other Lancashire batsmen passed fifty and Jade Dernbach also took three wickets for Surrey.

When Clark came into bat at the fall of Shiv Chanderpaul’s wicket Lancashire were 206 for six with the new ball to come Lancashire’s hopes of getting a second batting looked miles away never getting a third.  But he managed to stick with former skipper Steven Croft as they managed to get past 250 and a second batting point.  As soon as they got it the partnership was broken when Verdi got his second wicket thanks to  the quick anticipation of stumper Ben Foakes. Croft tried to lap Verdi  down fine leg but Foakes set off early down the legside and took the catch.

Clark said: “We’ve managed a good recovery but the pitch  has dried out and it’s got better and easier.  We’ve got two wickets left and hope tomorrow we can capitalise on a decent score.

I loved every minute of it and I’ve got a decent track record against Surrey.  It’s my job to bat with the tail and get us to a score.  In the last 12 months I’ve progressed a lot working on my mental approach and staying focussed.”

Clark brought up the fifty partnership with Mennie with a drive to the extra cover boundary off Verdi but the partnership should have been over before it had started.  When they had added 13 and Mennie was on three he edged Dernbach just short off Borthwick at second slip as he dived forward.  Eventually Surrey broke the partnership when Clark slog swept Verdi and Ollie Pope at mid wicket took a spectacular catch.  Clark said: “It was a great catch.”

The morning session belonged to Lancashire as they lost three wickets for 15 runs in eight balls and it looked the would fail to get a batting point for the third time  First to go was Haseem Hameed who again failed with his fourth single figure score out of five innings.  After having a wild swish at the previous ball, he pushed forward at Dernbach and edged it to Dean Elgar at first slip.

In Dernbach’s next over Alex Davies whipped Dernbach off his legs but found Matthew Dunn at mid wicket who dove to his left to take the catch.  Keaton Jennings pushed forward  at Sam Curran and was adjudged leg before by umpire Peter Hartley.

Lancashire skipper Liam Livingstone hit Dernbach for three consecutive fours.  The first was a fierce drive through the covers, the second was a gentle push  through mid wicket and the final was off his hips. Dernbach was taken out of the attack after 10 overs and was replaced by Ryan Patel. His first over cost him 12 runs as Chanderpaul hit him for three fours in four balls.

Livingstone and Chanderpaul batted well and didn’t look in any bother and took Lancashire to lunch without any further loss.  In the seventh over after and adding 88 with Chanderpaul with the score on Nelson,Livingstone fell two runs short off his  first championship half century of the season went forward to Dernbach and thought he had got an inside edge but umpire Richard Kettleborough thought otherwise.

Dernbach’s next ball was arguably the ball of the day and should have brought the fifth Lancashire wicket.  Vilas was deceived by a slower ball out of the back of Dernbach’s hand but Dane Vilas managed to jam his bat on it.

But Vilas wasn’t to hang on much longer.  On 13, Scott Borthwick took a brilliant one handed catch off Curran to dismiss him. Left handed Curran angled one across at Vilas who pushed at it away from his body and Borthwick at second slip dove to his right.

Lancashire gained their first batting point of the season when Chanderpaul squeezed Patel out to the mid wicket boundary.   Chanderpaul and Croft rarely looked in any trouble and looked on course to take their partnership well over a hundred but in the last over before Chanderpaul went down the wicket to Verdi to loft him over mid off but he  got too far under and chipped a simple catch to Borthwick mid off.

Croft, who missed last week's defeat to Essex at Chelmsford, brought up his fifty with a six over mid wicket.  Verdi bowled a rank full toss and Croft couldn’t believe his  as he smashed it over mid wicket.  For one second Croft, like the majority of the crowd thought he had smashed it straight to Dunn but Dunn lost sight of it as he was looking into the sun and the ball sailed to his right for a six.

Day 3

TOM Bailey and Joe Mennie turned this match in Lancashire’s favour with a record breaking ninth wicket partnership.

They not only broke the Lancashire record ninth wicket partnership against Surrey, which had stood for 136 years made by Alex Watson and John Crossland, but they also broke the record ninth wicket partnership in Lancashire/Surrey mathes made by Ian Greig and Neil Kendrick at the Fosters Oval in 1990.

Mennie reached his second consecutive fifty when he clipped Sam Curran off his legs through mid wicket for a couple after he had edged the previous ball through the gap between first slip and gully.  Two balls after Mennie reached fifty Bailey reached his  with  a drive off Curran through mid off for one of his five fours in his fifty from 71 balls in 70 minutes.

After hitting a six off Amar Virdi over mid wicket which just went out of Matt Dunn’s reach, Bailey repeated the shot with the next ball but this time found Dunn. Bailey made his highest championship score beating the 58 he made last year against Middlesex at Southport last year.  He and Mennie scored 87 runs in 89 balls on the third morning as Lancashire took control of the match. 

In an innings when five batsmen got over fifty Mennie was unbeaten on 68, the innings also produced four partnerships of over fifty. For Surrey Virdi took four wickets in an innings in consecutive matches as he finished with four for 80.

Needing  290 to avoid the follow on Surrey needed a solid opening partnership but they lost their first wicket in the second over when Mark Stoneman got too far over and lost his leg stump to Graham Onions.

Surrey captain and Rory Burns and Scott Borthwick steadied the ship with  a stand of 98 until Burns tried to  flash hard at Bailey but got a top edge and stumper Alex Davies took an easy catch. Both Borthwick and Burns played and missed at Mennie and Onions in overcast conditions as the pair dug in to blunt and wear down the Lancashire attack. In the afternoon session Surrey scored 71 in 34 overs.

Borthwick brought up his fifty with a square drive  off Bailey.  He did survive a strong leg before shout from Onions before he reached double figures, but the ball must have just sliding down leg.  

Just as it looked odds on that Borthwick would  get his second century for Surrey against Lancashire he became Onions’ second victim when he got an inside to a drive to Davies who took the catch  at the second or third attempt as he fumbled the ball.

Now South African Dean Elgar was the danger man that Lancashire wanted  and after making 35 he nimble at Bailey and Dane Vilas behind the stumps, substituting for the unwell Davies behind the stumps, took the catch.

After the departure of Elgar, Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope took the score to 202.  then Surrey capitulated losing their last five wickets  in 18  overs.  They ended the third day  behind with one wicket standing.

Surrey’s head coach Michael Di Venuto said: “It was a very disappointing day, we started this morning with the ball really poorly and we didn’t respond from a disappointing session last night. Again with the bat, Lancashire were very good, very disciplined and bowled well as a unit and we failed to stand up to that pressure.

It’s a good wicket, there are no gremlins in it and we just haven’t responded well to that pressure. A week is a long time in cricket, we played very well last week and this week we’ve been poor.

We’ve still got a lot to achieve in this game. Tomorrow we have to show some fight and we can have five points to walk away with. We have to bat properly tomorrow, build partnerships and individuals if they get in have got to go on and not leave it to someone else.

Everyone that got in and got starts looked good but we need them to go on to make hundreds. It is a good wicket, a day three wicket is generally good to bat on. We are confident that we can do a job tomorrow but we certainly have to stand up and respond to the pressure of their bowling attack.”

Lancashire’s Bailey said: “Given the fact we were 20-3 yesterday we will take this position. We knew that the only way of winning this game would be to try and enforce the follow on and we needed 400 for that. Once we passed that we kicked on.

I’ve been bowling well for the last couple of seasons but not had much luck with injuries to try and stay in the team. The coaches have told me this winter to step up and lead the attack and I was ready to take it with both hands.

We are pretty confident for tomorrow to be honest. Hopefully the pitch deteriorates and if we bowl anything like we did today we have a chance. To have them nine down for not so many is great, but we did bowl well on a good wicket.

 It felt like a flat wicket to me and Mennie this morning, so we weren’t looking forward to bowling on it too much. But there was enough  in the pitch if we got it right and we did. Hopefully get a few more tomorrow.”

Day 4

ON the final morning it took Lancashire 16 balls to take the last Lancashire wicket when Virdi backed away from Onions, top edged a cut to Vilas still deputising for Alex Davies.

With  a lead of 204 Lancashire enforced the follow on.  This time Stoneman and Burns fared better than in the first with a fifty partnership in 27 overs but again Stoneman was unable to post  a big score. In the 27th over he tried to turn Bailey off his legs but gave Dane Vilas still deputising for Alex Davies an easy catch.

Lancashire thought they had a great chance of victory when Borthwick left a ball from Bailey and lost his off bail.  And when they dismissed Burns and Elgar and Burns with the Brown Caps still 114 behind surely victory was Lancashire.  But Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope had other ideas.

The pair added 86 in in 31 overs with Foakes again impressing with his batting made 57.  But Lancashire came back and got rid of them within two overs.  Hard as they tried the Lancashire bowlers could not shift Sam Curran and Ryan Patel and after batting for seven and half overs time was called.

Surrey captain Burns said: “We are really pleased with the character of the lads,  we set ourselves the target at the start of the day of obviously saving the game and we’ve done that. That’s a tick in the box but over the three days its not good enough

We were disappointing towards the back end of their innings with the ball and that sort of carried into our batting and it  wasn’t good enough also. We were a little bit off the pace there, not ideal but the way we fought back was excellent.

Pope and Foakes were excellent, that partnership was crucial for us at that stage. I thought Lancashire bowled very well all game and showed us how we should be bowling. They showed us how we should be batting as well. We were outplayed over three days but we still came away with the draw which is ideal.

It was tough work out there, they bowled really well but we’ve come through it. The character we’ve shown we have to take forward into the next game.

I  feel I’m lacking a bit of rhythm at the minute but I’ve fought pretty hard in this game, the more you do that, the more chance you give yourself of scoring runs.”

Lancashire’s head coach Glen Chapple said: “It was a brilliant performance. The pitch was good with a bit in it on the first morning when we were asked to bat first, predictably, and after the first half hour I thought we played magnificent cricket, as good as you will see in this division.

“The effort from the lads was superb throughout, we controlled virtually every session of the match. There were some top class performances, great partnerships and some real resilience and effort over the three days. It would have been an unbelievable effort to win in three days on that pitch. If it had gone the four days I think we would have come out on top.

 I think we’ve shown the type of team we are. Everyone is disappointed in the results from the first two games but they were both affected by weather. The performance here is what we are all about. We can take a lot of confidence from it and move on.

Bailey has shown his attributes. He bowls some lively spells, he’s got the ability to get the ball through, he gets bounce because he’s tall and he controls the seam, he’s holding his length fantastically well and he can be very miserly when he needs to be. Bowling on a flat pitch he has all the attributes for that.”

 

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