Glen Chapple moved to within one wicket of 900 in his first-class career in a devastating afternoon burst during today's third day against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Heading into tomorrow’s final day of this LV= County Championship clash, all three results are still possible.
Chapple clinched his 37th five-wicket in this competition as Hampshire were bowled out for 258 in reply to 295, including a sequence of four wickets in six balls as the score slipped from 138-3 to 144-7 after lunch.
It was just unfortunate that Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey’s 84 off 110 balls was instrumental in holding Lancashire up. Hampshire’s last three wickets put on 114, including a stand of 57 for the ninth wicket between Bailey and Danny Briggs (31).
Lancashire started their second innings with a lead of 37 immediately after tea, which was delayed with Hampshire nine wickets down in their first innings, and closed on 63-3 from 27 overs. They will begin tomorrow’s fourth day leading by 100 runs.
Karl Brown and Andrea Agathangelou will resume on 26 and 20 not out respectively having added 36 for the fourth wicket.
“A lot will depend on how the first hour goes in the morning. If we play well, we can set the game up and you never know,” said Kyle Hogg, who was also impressive with the ball in returning 4-76 from 24.5 overs.
“But Hampshire will be thinking that if they get some quick wickets, they’re in the game as well.”
Hampshire, resuming on 7-1 from eight overs this morning, actually enjoyed the better of the first morning thanks to second-wicket pair Michael Carberry (44) and Liam Dawson, who made 55.
They added 98, and the stand was only broken in the penultimate over the session when Carberry was caught behind down the leg-side off Simon Kerrigan.
You would have got long odds at lunch on that being Kerrigan’s only over of the innings, but that was how it ended up thanks to conditions aiding the quicks and the way Chapple, in particular, and Hogg bowled.
Hogg was the man who started Lancashire’s excellent afternoon when he had Dawson caught behind by Gareth Cross with only the third ball after lunch, leaving the score at 107-3 in the 41st over.
Another nine overs went by before Chapple, who was helped by significant reverse swing, ripped through Hampshire’s middle order in the blink of an eye.
There must have been somebody on the ground who went for a coffee or a call of nature at 138-3 at the start of the 49th over only to return midway through the 52nd to see the score at 144-7 and wonder what on earth had happened!
Chapple had James Vince well caught low done at second slip by Agathangelou and he bowled Ervine two balls later as he shouldered arms, leaving the score at 138-5 after 50.
The 39-year-old then uprooted Michael Bates’s leg-stump before scattering all three of Chris Wood’s, who was the seventh man out. Across two overs, Chapple had the following sequence: W.WW.W
He later had David Balcombe caught at mid-wicket by a diving Brown to complete his five-for and move one away from 900 wickets. But he later brought himself off following a ten-over spell which fielded five wickets for 25.
Bailey and Briggs both played fluently to frustrate the visitors, who had looked likely to claim a lead in the region of 100 to 120 at one stage. Finally their alliance was broken when Hogg picked up his third - Briggs caught behind.
And when Bailey, who had lofted Hogg down the ground for six, drove the same bowler to Procter at cover, Hogg had four and Hampshire were all out.
“We all know Chappie can do that,” added Hogg. “Even when he’s not getting wickets, he always looks like he will. He changed the game with four wickets in the space of a couple of overs. We always know when he’s got the ball in his hand, he’s as good as anybody in the country at getting people out.”
The wickets continued to fall as Lancashire started their second innings, with Stephen Moore, Procter and Ashwell Prince all falling cheaply to Balcombe and James Tomlinson as they slipped to 27-3.
Moore was caught behind off Balcombe before Procter was caught at first slip off Tomlinson, who also trapped Prince lbw. But Brown and Agathangelou ensured there were no further alarms for the visitors.
Photo: Glen Chapple bowls to Mike Carberry at the Ageas Bowl (c) Charlie Crowhurst/ Getty Images Sport