Wickets tumbled at a rapid rate on the second day of Lancashire's LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
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The Red Rose are still in the ascendency thanks to another valuable contribution with the bat from Sajid Mahmood.
Lancashire began the day at 323-8 in their first innings, with Steven Croft closing in on a century, but they ended it on 152-8 from 44 overs in their second innings.
Croft fell short of a second career ton, stranded on 89 not out off 142 balls, as the Red Rose reached 354 and a crucial fourth batting bonus point. But the wickets of Mahmood and Simon Kerrigan were just two of 20 to fall in the day.
Glen Chapple claimed figures of 5-27 from 12 overs to skittle the visitors for 113, boosted only by Neil Carter’s powerful unbeaten 69 off 77 balls.
Lancashire then crumbled to 33-6 second time around with Andrew Miller taking five wickets.
With a first innings lead of 241 – Chapple chose not to enforce the follow-on because he expects the pitch to do more tomorrow and Thursday – the Red Rose had plenty of margin for error, but they had to be helped out by Mahmood’s third 50 of the summer.
The 28 year-old, who hit 52 and 64 against Warwickshire and Somerset at Old Trafford earlier in the LV= Division One campaign, was 55 not out off 68 balls when bad light halted play seven overs early.
“It was quite interesting that, a lot of wickets have fallen there,” said Mahmood, who padded up twice today.
“I still think the wicket’s alright. The bowlers have bowled well. It has swung and nipped a bit, but the bowlers have put it in some pretty decent areas. It’s tough for the top order to get in against the new ball when it’s doing a bit.”
Mahmood said of his batting: “The batting’s coming on well this year. In previous years I’ve probably been going out there and thinking about being too technical with my batting. Now I’m not trying to think too much about where my head and feet are going or where my elbow is, I’m just trying to hit the ball. It’s paid off.”
There were also a couple of valuable late order contributions from Mark Chilton and Chapple, who hit 43 and 22 respectively. Chilton and Mahmood shared 54 for the eighth wicket in 13 overs.
While swing was more in evidence yesterday than it was on day one, the conditions did not account for 20 wickets. The batsmen on both sides played some loose shots, while both sets of bowlers were superb.
The pitch, which was also used for a 40-over match on Sunday, is still pretty good to bat on.
Mahmood finished with 3-44 from 13 overs in Warwickshire’s first innings, during which he hit Carter on the left ear. The left-hander had to go to hospital and have 15 stitches in the gash.
Jimmy Anderson will be at the crease in the morning after entering the fray at the fall of the eighth wicket, that of Chilton.
Anderson, who replaced Luke Procter, only landed at Gatwick Airport at 11.15am this morning with the rest of the England’s World Twenty20 squad. He arrived at Edgbaston around 2pm.
Mahmood added: “Jimmy is going to come in and strengthen our bowling attack. That’s a massive bonus because he’s a world-class bowler. I’ve had a look back on the video, and I was starting to swing it. If I’m swing them, and I don’t usually, then Jimmy will be very dangerous on that.”
Day 1 Report
Graham Hardcastle at Edgbaston
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd