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Lancs wrap up 3-day win
Lancs wrap up 3-day win
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Lancashire wrapped up an impressive six-wicket win over the MCC inside three days in Abu Dhabi.

Glen Chapple's side lived up to their billing in the annual 'champion county' fixture by setting about a champion fightback, which was completed, with the odd jitter, before tea on day three.

Resuming on 81-8 in their second innings, the MCC could only add another three runs to their total, setting Lancs just 152 to win.

Chapple struck with the third ball of the day when he bowled Pakistan's Rana Naved-ul-Hasan before Simon Kerrigan had Alan Richardson caught at gully by fellow spinner Gary Keedy to clinch a second four-wicket haul of the match.

Kerrigan's second innings haul of 4-31 contributed to notable match figures of 8-96

The MCC lost their last eight second innings wickets for just 28 runs.

Stephen Moore and Karl Brown fell early in Lancashire's chase, but Paul Horton and Luke Procter fashioned a recovery from 11-2 in the tenth over with a calming third-wicket stand of 98 inside 28 overs.

Moore fell when he drove Ian Blackwell's second ball to Moeen Ali at cover before Lewis Gregory comprehensively bowled Brown with a yorker.

But Horton top-scored with 58 off 119 balls and Procter, a century maker earlier in the tour against the MCC Young Cricketers, added to that with a valuable 47.

"It was a great performance," said Lancashire skipper Chapple, who played a crucial role in the match with both ball and bat. "We were behind the game, but this team showed last year that we fight all the way. We turned it around again.

"It definitely followed the pattern of quite a few games last season. In an ideal world, we're looking to get into games on the front foot and dominate right from the word go. But that can't always happen. You need to fight and scrap hard when it doesn't.

"To come here and come out on top against a top quality side is great for us."

Lancashire's day started perfectly as they polished off the MCC tail within the first half an hour of play on a scorching hot day in the Middle East.

But they wobbled in the chase until Horton and Procter combined to add more than a touch of calm to proceedings.

Both players found the fence with some eye-catching strokes as the MCC side lost some of their fizz as the target ticked down. They brought up their 50-stand before lunch, coming out afterwards with 77 needed.

Horton brought up his half-century off 111 balls, but was third out when he chipped Moeen's off-spin to Gareth Batty at mid-wicket, leaving the score at 109-3. Fortunately for the Red Rose, the hard work had been done.

Procter followed shortly afterwards when he flicked Blackwell into the hands of Gareth Rees at short-leg.

Steven Croft, however, hit four fours in an unbeaten 24 before Tom Smith hit the winning runs with an hour to go until tea.

Lancashire, who have also played one two-day match and three Twenty20s on tour, head back to Manchester at the weekend.

And Chapple added: "What you look for from pre-season is to be fit and in form, and that's what we are. We've got no injuries, we've done some really good fitness work and also got some victories."

The county's next outing is a three-day first-class match against Cambridge University at Fenners, starting next Friday.

Day 1 report Day 2 report

Graham Hardcastle
Photo of Paul Horton (c) Graham Morris
Article (c) Lancashire CCC