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Match Report STORY
Keedy setback
Keedy setback
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Lancashire Lightning lost their second game of the Pro ARCH Trophy in Sharjah tonight, going down by 45 runs to the Essex Eagles in a low scoring game on much more sporting pitch than you would usually see in the Gulf.

The Red Rose county had put themselves in control after restricting the Eagles, who won the toss and elected to bat, to 202-9 thanks to three wickets apiece from Steven Mullaney and Oliver Newby.

But the Lightning were immediately put under the pump by a competitive Essex side, who had struggled in the field against the Fly Emirates XI on Tuesday, as they slumped to 10-3 in the sixth over of their reply.

“Yes it is disappointing to lose,” admitted Cricket Director Mike Watkinson. “But it is a pre-season game, and we can certainly take benefits out of it. There is no doubt about that.”

However, concerning news for the Lightning came in the form of an injury to Gary Keedy, who has suffered a slight fracture in his right hand. The left-arm spinner suffered the injury while fielding as the Lightning beat Sussex on Thursday.

It was decided the 33 year-old should go for an x-ray, and he is now expected to be out of action for three to four weeks.

“He has got a light cast on his hand, which we can take off at any point,” continued Watkinson. “He is still able to bowl in the nets at the lads, but it would be a big risk for him to play in any of the matches.”

Mal Loye did not make the starting line-up after twisting his left ankle when he tripped in a pot-hole this morning: “That is nothing major,” added Watkinson, who is hoping to see the batsman line up against Fly Emirates XI on Monday.

Mullaney and Newby, both of whom did not play in the opening night win against Sussex, were the pick of the bowlers with 3-31 off ten and 3-18 off eight respectively. Kyle Hogg and Tom Smith claimed a wicket apiece, while there was also a run out. Varun Chopra top scored with 77 for Essex.

Lancashire then slumped to 10-3 in the sixth over, as Hogg, Paul Horton and Mark Chilton all recorded ducks. Karl Brown top scored with 33, while Gareth Cross hit 32 and captain for the day Luke Sutton hit 31.

“It was a tricky pitch, and we struggled to recover from losing three early wickets,” assessed Watkinson. “We just weren’t able to get that crucial partnership going. Every time we were getting one together, we lost a wicket.”

Maurice Chambers was the pick of the Essex bowlers thanks to 3-24 from his nine overs, while Tony Palladino, Ryan ten Doeschate (he had hit 54 with the bat) and Chris Wright all picked up two wickets apiece.

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Graham Hardcastle reporting from the UAE

Photo: Simon Pendrigh