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Match Report STORY
Lancs edge see-saw day

Lancashire will be marginally the happier of the two camps after their opening day's work against LV= County Championship rivals Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

The hosts and Division Two leaders had reached lunch well placed at 90-0 from 33 overs having been invited to bat first, but were under the cosh quickly afterwards. They lost a wicket three balls into the afternoon before slipping to 159-5.

Australian debutant Cameron White, signed primarily to play Twenty20, dug his side out of hole with an unbeaten 61 off 149 balls to help them close on 275-7 from 98 overs, sharing an unbroken 64 for the eighth wicket with David Murphy.

It was one of those days where both sides will be reasonably happy with the close of play score, but maybe Lancashire just have the edge given the pitch looks pretty decent for batting on.

Red Rose captain Glen Chapple led the way with 3-60 from 23 overs, which included all his wickets in a 20-ball spell during the afternoon, while Kyle Hogg, Wayne White and Simon Kerrigan also struck.

Kerrigan bowled 33 overs at a cost of 72, and he said: “We came back really well, and we showed what we’re all about.

“We didn’t bowl badly in that first session, they just played well. I think (Kyle) Coetzer got off the mark after 45 minutes and then played a few shots. We tried to take an early wicket after lunch, which we did, and that helped us get the momentum back.

“It’s a pretty slow pitch, so hopefully we can get three early wickets and then get a good score in our innings. We’re pretty happy with how it went.”

Openers Kyle Coetzer with 38 and James Middlebrook with 57 shared their side’s highest opening partnership of the season, with the former taking 31 balls to pick up his first run. By that stage, Middlebrook had 17.

But the latter was one of three home batsmen to contribute to their own downfall when he ran himself out, with Luis Reece from point throwing the ball to Gareth Cross to complete the dismissal.

It came four and a half overs after Hogg had bowled Coetzer three balls into the afternoon.

Northants had made their way to 148-2 before Chapple opened them up with some excellent bowling. He had captain David Sales caught behind off an under edge, Ben Duckett bowled from round the stumps and Andrew Hall caught at square-leg as the hosts slipped to 159-5.
Karl Brown and Andrea Agathangelou took excellent catches at second slip and short-leg after tea to help Wayne White get David Willey and Kerrigan get Matt Spriegel as the hosts slipped to 211-7 in the 76th.

The chances are that this will be White’s (Cameron) only Championship appearance of the season for the hosts, and he is only playing because they have not got another overseas player registered. He is viewed as a limited overs specialist, but played with plenty of application to dig his side out of trouble.

He reached his fifty off 125 balls with six fours in the 91st over of the day, shortly after Brown dropped Murphy on 19 at first slip off Chapple. The pair will resume their eighth-wicket stand alliance tomorrow morning.

Graham Hardcastle
Picture - Gareth Cross runs out James Middlebrook (c) Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport