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Lancs hunt down win
Lancs hunt down win
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Simon Kerrigan starred for the second day running as Lancashire put themselves on course for a stunning win against the MCC in Abu Dhabi

Photo: Sajid Mahmood strikes to trap Gareth Rees lbw (Graham Morris)

The England Lions left-arm spinner, 22 years old, capped off a second innings collapse as the MCC fell from 56-2 to 80-8 in their second innings under floodlights. He took three wickets for just two runs in his second spell of three overs.

And Lancashire, who still trail by 148 runs, will aim to snare the final two wickets as quickly as possible on day three.

Earlier, Kerrigan had seen his team-mates stumble with the bat themselves in their first innings as they fell short of MCC's 266. But, from the desperate position of 106-7, Glen Chapple's 42 and Gareth Cross's 30 were key with 93 runs added for the last three wickets.

Coach Peter Moores said: "It's been a typical Lancashire game. We've got ourselves behind the eight-ball and scrapped very hard to get out of trouble.

"It's a bit of a trademark for us. We don't lie down easily and always fight very hard. It doesn't mean you're always going to win, but you give yourselves a chance.

"Because we're a very close team, you can always expect someone to find something from somewhere. If it doesn't work at the top, it's likely to at the bottom. If it isn't Chapple or Keedy with the ball, it will probably work for Smith or Mahmood."

Karl Brown set about an encouraging 39 this morning, but he was the fourth Lancashire wicket to fall - the second of the morning - after Ian Blackwell had started the day with seven maidens on the trot.

The MCC attack shared the wickets around, with Pakistan's Rana Naved-ul-Hasan leading the way with three of them. Blackwell, Somerset youngster Lewis Gregory and Gareth Batty all added two.

Lancashire were seven down just before lunch, but their recovery to get within range was underpinned by an eight-wicket half-century stand between Chapple and Cross.

After being bowled out one run shy of 200, the signs of a Red Rose recovery were there just before tea when Sajid Mahmood got the ball in his hands.

Mahmood, like Rana, Gregory and later Chapple, prospered from the North End of the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, where there seemed to be more help on offer for the pace bowlers.

The big fast bowler trapped Gareth Rees lbw with his very first ball and then had Mark Ramprakash caught at mid-on to leave the tea-time score at 10-2, the MCC leading by 77. And then the fireworks began in the final session.

Hamish Marshall, Gloucestershire's former New Zealand international, survived two dropped catches in successive overs before Chapple had him lbw for a current innings high-score of 31.

Even then, at 56-3, the MCC held the upper hand. But not for long!

Tom Smith bowled Moeen Ali and had first-innings centurion Blackwell caught at second slip by Stephen Moore for a duck in successive overs, leaving the score at 69-5 in the 27th.

Then it was over to Kerrigan. He had Niall O'Brien caught at mid-wicket by Smith before getting opener Stephen Peters and Gareth Batty caught in the slips by Paul Horton and Smith respectively. The latter two contributed to a double wicket maiden.

The MCC closed on 81-8 from 37 overs with Rana and Gregory at the crease.

Day 1 Report

Graham Hardcastle
Photo (c) Graham Morris
Article (c) Lancashire CCC

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