Lancashire lost their second consecutive County Championship match today, this time against Hampshire at Liverpool thanks in the main to six wickets for Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
The Red Rose county began day four on 144-2, leading by seven runs with eight second innings wickets in hand, but Tahir wheeled away brilliantly. Mal Loye top scored for Lancashire with 55, but was Tahir’s first wicket late on day three, and Andrew Flintoff reached 54 off 86 balls.
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Lancashire lost their last eight wickets for 78 runs in 28 overs to be bowled out for 254 - five of them falling to South African qualified Tahir, who finished with figures of 6-108 from 32.5 overs.
Captain Glen Chapple had tried a late rescue act by sweeping Tahir for two sixes just after lunch on his way to 34 not out off 52 balls, but Michael Carberry was the lead role with 62 not out off 73 balls as Hampshire chased down 118 for victory within 24 overs without loss.
While this was the home side’s second defeat after their reverse at Durham last Saturday, this was Hampshire’s second LV Division One win of the campaign.
Resuming the day on 36, Flintoff reached 54 before he was caught by Michael Lumb in the slips attempting to pull Dimitri Mascarenhas. Flintoff swept Tahir for six and cut him for four to reach his first fifty since December off 79 balls with nine fours and a maximum.
Flintoff did not look overly happy with Peter Willey’s decision to give him out when the ball looped over the head of wicketkeeper Nic Pothas to Lumb running round from slip after an attempted pull.
“From a team point of view we needed some runs, and I felt like I was playing nicely as well,” said Flintoff. “I was disappointed to get out, but more from a team point of view than personally.
“The thing was getting through last night, then setting it up for today. I felt great coming out this morning. It was an ideal situation on a flat pitch to get some runs because one to get the team out of a bit of a whole and for me to get a decent score. I am disappointed with the result more than anything. It is alright getting a 50, but I wanted to get some runs for Lancashire. I only did half the job.”
Flintoff was the first wicket of the day and the score was 176-3 in the 52nd over. It was, unfortunately, somewhat of a procession from there on until just after lunch.
VVS Laxman was run out by Jimmy Adams attempting a needless second run to square-leg before Kyle Hogg, Steven Croft and Francois du Plessis all departed to Tahir.
Luke Sutton (17) was the next to go as he presented a catch to Chris Benham at third slip off the bowling of Chris Tremlett and Sajid Mahmood was caught behind off the bowling of Tahir just before lunch.
Chapple swept the leggie for two sixes in his first two overs after lunch as he attempted a rescue act, but Gary Keedy was caught at first slip by Dominic Cork to end the innings. Tahir has now taken 18 wickets in his last four innings against Lancashire.
Carberry and Adams (46 not out off 66 balls) knocked off the runs in confident fashion, as Carberry reached his fifty in 55 balls with six fours and one six.
Lancashire return to Liverpool on Monday evening to resume their Twenty20 Cup campaign against Leicestershire Foxes.
[Day 3 Report] [Day 2 Report] Day 1-no play, rain
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd