Left-arm spinner Gary Keedy claimed his second six-wicket haul of the County Championship season to take Lancashire to an impressive ten-wicket victory against Warwickshire at Old Trafford.
The 34 year-old snared the wickets of Jonathan Trott, Jim Troughton, Tim Ambrose, Neil Carter, Rikki Clarke (40) and Boyd Rankin to return figures of 6-50 in 27.2 overs.
Warwickshire, faced with a first innings deficit of 241 after bowling their hosts out for 389 this morning, were bowled out for 244 in their second innings on day three of this LV Division One fixture.
Lancashire opener Tom Smith hit the four needed to win off the second ball.
“It was a pleasing win, and the lads did really well,” said Keedy, who finished as the club’s leading wicket-taker with 42 in this competition thanks to his best performance of the summer.
“Everything went our way today. There have been games when that hasn’t quite happened, and we have come away with draws.”
Wicketkeeper Luke Sutton had hit 45 this morning whilst Bears’ seamer Andrew Miller returned 4-76 from 25 overs. Sutton and Keedy shared 36 for the last wicket as Keedy’s stellar day had started with his highest score of the summer, an 18: “It wasn’t too bad a day,” continued the 2009 beneficiary.
England Lions pace bowler Sajid Mahmood then took two wickets as he helped to reduce the visitors to 51-3, but 55 off 77 balls from Ambrose and 44 off 61 balls from Trott at least helped their side to put up some sort of resistance. Warwickshire began this match knowing a win could lift them as high as second, but failing to get more than one batting bonus point hamstrung their chances.
And should Yorkshire and Hampshire draw their match at Headingley tomorrow, Lancashire will finish the season fourth in the table after beginning this match with an outside chance of being relegated.
The Red Rose were also keen to win this match to give them a chance of being the side with the second most wins in the division behind leaders Durham. Before the start of this match nobody else had won more than three. Lancashire have now won four.
“Ultimately we can end the season having won more games than anybody else apart from the champions. That is quite pleasing,” said Keedy.
Mahmood had Ant Botha caught by Mark Chilton in the covers off a leading edge and Ian Westwood well caught by Smith at second slip to leave the visitors three down in the 14th over. Kyle Hogg trapped Ian Bell lbw for nine in between.
Trott and Troughton then shared 50 in 19 overs for the fourth wicket before Keedy trapped England’s newest Test batsman lbw in the 33rd over. There was then another useful partnership of 59 for the fifth wicket between Troughton (27) and Ambrose before the latter was also given out lbw, this time not offering a shot, to leave the score at 162-5 the 53rd.
And the third and final dogged partnership came between Ambrose and Clarke, who put on 53 for the sixth wicket, before two quick wickets fell to Keedy. He bowled Ambrose, who had hit seven boundaries in his sixth score of 50 or more this season, and also bowled Carter off his pads to leave the score at 215-7 in the 67th.
The left-arm spiner then deceived Clarke who was caught at first slip by Paul Horton, and bowled Rankin. Miller was brilliantly run out by Chilton from cover.
Keedy was fighting it out with Mahmood and captain Glen Chapple at the start of the day to claim the tag as the leading wicket-taker.
Mahmood’s pacey burst set it up for Keedy to clean Warwickshire up cheaply for the second time in the match. Chapple struggled with a foot problem, and Keedy continued: “In that last session myself, Saj and Chappie were well aware of who was up there.
“The fact that nobody has got 50 wickets doesn’t mean we have bowled badly, there are just a good group of us who have shared the wickets. To finish off on top (of the wicket takers list) is quite nice.”
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd