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150th Anniversary

Great Lancashire games

Great Lancashire games

Graham Hardcastle continues his look at memorable Lancashire games

1971 - Lancashire v Gloucestershire, Gillette Cup semi-final

The most famous match in Lancashire’s history? Quite possibly.

Jack Bond’s defending champions were in a real battle against a Mike Procter inspired Gloucestershire side, who had posted a competitive 229-6 in the first innings at Old Trafford. Procter top-scored with 65.

In reply, Lancashire were tottering when they lost three quick wickets, including that of talismanic West Indian Clive Lloyd, to slip from 156-3 to 163-6.

An hour’s play had earlier been lost to rain, meaning that when Jack Simmons joined captain Bond at the crease, he did so in worsening light. But this only added to the drama for the official crowd of 24,079 and the millions more watching on the BBC.

The pair put on 40 before Simmons was bowled by off-spinner John Mortimore for 25 to leave the score at 203-7.

A decision had to be made as to whether to finish the game in one day with the time fast approaching 9pm.

When it was decided that the game should continue, Gloucestershire captain Tony Brown made the killer decision to bowl Mortimore for the 56th over and leave seamers Procter and Jack Davey to share the final four.

With five overs remaining and David Hughes now at the crease, the hosts needed 25 to win.

Hughes, who takes up the story, smashed 24 off the over to all but seal the win.

“There were five overs left and we wanted 25,” Hughes told the recently published book, 150 Years of Lancashire Cricket.

“I think Brown wanted to get Mortimore out of the way. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but he’d actually bowled them into a winning position. Now, because of the darkness, it was virtually impossible to see the seamers. I faced Jack Davey, who wasn’t of any great pace, but it was very difficult.

“When he decided to bowl Mortimore out, which then left Proctor and Davey with two overs each, we probably then decided that this was the over we had to get as near to 25 as we could.

“The fact was that when I hit those, the fielders struggled to see the ball too. It was that dark.”
The BBC even had to delay the nine o’clock news to continue coverage! Lancashire went on to win the competition.

Match Scorecard

1996 - Lancashire v Yorkshire, Benson and Hedges Cup semi-final

Warren Hegg and Peter Martin were the Red Rose heroes as the hosts secured a one-wicket win off the final ball of the match at Old Trafford to help the defending champions into the final in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Rain forced this clash into a second day, which Yorkshire started on 198-5 and with four overs of their 50 remaining. Aussie one-day specialist Michael Bevan and wicketkeeper Richard Blakey smashed 52 off the last four overs to build a formidable target of 251.

And that target looked a long, long way away when, following the losses of Michael Atherton, Mike Watkinson, Steve Elworthy, Nick Speak and Graham Lloyd, Lancashire slipped to 97-5.

A crucial sixth-wicket stand of 64 between Neil Fairbrother and Hegg got Lancashire’s chase up and running again, although Fairbrother was run out and Ian Austin fell to leave the score at 174-7 in the 43rd and Yorkshire still in the ascendancy.

Enter Hegg! The wicketkeeper peppered the off-side boundary, particularly over cover towards the old scoreboard in front of the tramline. And when Craig White bowled Hegg for a stunning 81 off 62 balls with the last ball of the 48th over, Lancashire needed eleven more to win at 240-8.

With Gary Yates brilliantly run out by Anthony McGrath, Lancashire were 243-9 with seven balls left.

Glen Chapple hit the first ball of the last over from White for four before a wide and a single took the target to two off three balls. Martin missed the next two before squeezing the last past Bevan at point to secure the  famous win.

Lancashire also beat Yorkshire in the NatWest semi-final by 19 runs at Old Trafford later in the summer on the way to the one-day double.

Match Scorecard

2011 - Lancashire v Hampshire, County Championship

We could have picked any one of a number of matches in this famous title-winning season. The two Roses matches at Liverpool and Headingley or the title-clinching win over Somerset at Taunton when all looked lost.

But the win over Hampshire at Liverpool, the club’s home from home that season due to the Old Trafford re-development, will take some beating for tension and drama as Simon Kerrigan announced himself as a left-arm spinner to be reckoned with.

Glen Chapple hit 97 and further fifties for Tom Smith and Kyle Hogg helped Lancashire up to 388 early on day two having been invited to bat. Hampshire responded with 381 before Paul Horton and Stephen Moore, who started Lancashire’s second innings an hour before tea on day three, raced to an opening stand of 168 inside 45 overs.

When Lancashire declared on 353-7 to leave the visitors requiring 361 in a minimum of 67 overs on the final day to boost their relegation fight, Moore had reached an unbeaten 169.

But, if you thought the Red Rose’s second innings was dramatic, you had seen nothing yet!

Kerrigan and fellow left-arm spinner Gary Keedy bowled in tandem from the 12th over of the Hampshire chase, which never really was a chase in truth, but time was running out for Lancashire who had only taken four wickets 48 overs into the innings.

By this time, Kerrigan had switched from the Pavilion End to the River End, and it was a move that worked wonders after tea.

The young Prestonian took the last seven wickets of the Hampshire innings to secure an imperative ninth win of the season to keep their title battle with Warwickshire realistically alive, finishing with 9-51.

Amazingly, the final wicket of Neil McKenzie caught in the slips by Tom Smith came with just four minutes remaining.

Kerrigan described the celebrations as “crazy” and coach Peter Moores said Kerrigan’s bowling was that of “a quality international spinner”.

Match Scorecard

Graham Hardcastle
Picture: 2011 - Tom Smith wheels away in delight after catching Hampshire's McKenzie to clinch a dramatic win (c) Simon Pendrigh


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