Lancs suffer narrow defeat

Lancashire rounded off their tour of Dubai today with a narrow 40-over defeat against Sussex at the ICC’s Global Cricket Academy.

The Lightning were undone by a batting collapse which saw them slip from 103-1 to 176 all out in pursuit of 200, eventually losing by 23 runs.

Spin ruled the roost in both innings, with Sharks' left-arm chinaman bowler Michael Rippon the star of the show with 6-27. Stephen Parry and Steven Croft had earlier taken three wickets each for Lancashire as Sussex were restricted to 199-9.

Croft, who finished with 3-18 from seven overs, also enjoyed success with the bat thanks to a powerful 69. He and opener Stephen Moore, who made exactly 50, shared a century stand for the second wicket after the early loss of Andrea Agathangelou, but it was not enough to secure a second win from six matches on tour.

The squad return to Manchester tomorrow having won one, lost three and drawn one of their five matches.

"I don't think the results have gone exactly how we wanted them to go, so that means there's plenty to work on," assessed coach Peter Moores. "But it's been a successful trip in that everybody's had the opportunity to push their case forward.

"It was disappointing today because we did a lot of it right. We bowled and fielded really well. We shouldn't take anything away from that. To keep them to that score on a decent wicket with short boundaries was a good effort.

"Then we set the game up with the bat, but we couldn't take it home. The two-day game was similar in that a lot of people batted for somewhere between 30 and 40 balls and got out. Part of that is about sharpening up mentally whether it's for one-day or four-day cricket."

Croft and Moore put the Lightning in control during an eleven-over alliance. But, as Sussex had done earlier, the Red Rose lost their way against spin as Mike Yardy also struck. Unfortunately, they could not recover.

After a racing start which saw the Sharks, who elected to bat first, reach 54-1 in just the eighth over, they lost six wickets for 28 in eleven overs to slip from 115-3 to 143-9.

It was only a counter-attacking 58 not out from Ben Brown that enabled his side to bat for the full allocation of overs and finish a run short of 200 to give his bowlers something to defend. The wicketkeeper shared an unbroken last wicket stand of 56 with Chris Liddle.

Early on, Kyle Hogg (2-31 from eight overs) had Rory Hamilton-Brown caught at mid-wicket by captain for the day Paul Horton before bowling Joe Gatting to leave Sussex at 80-3 in the 14th over. Wayne White had taken the first wicket by getting Matt Machan caught behind.

Parry's first wicket started the mid-innings collapse when he had Yardy caught at long-on by Jordan Clark - 115-4 in the 22nd over.

Croft then had Luke Wells caught by White at long-on in the 25th over, the first of three wickets to fall in successive overs. Chris Jordan was caught Croft at mid-wicket off Parry and Beer stumped by Alex Davies off Croft to leave the score at 125-7 in the 27th.

Rippon was next to depart as Clark pouched another at long-on to hand Parry his third, a haul matched by Croft when he bowled James Anyon - 143-9 in the 33rd.

That brought Brown and Liddle together. They began the recovery with 27 runs off the four overs of batting powerplay between overs 34 and 37 off White and Hogg, while nine came off the last of the innings bowled by Clark.

In conditions which were good for batting against seamers and tough against spin, the Red Rose looked like making light work of their target as they build up to a first Yorkshire Bank 40 match against Durham Dynamos at Emirates Old Trafford on Bank Holiday Monday May 6.

After the early loss of Andrea Agathangelou, lbw to Jordan in the second over, Moore and Croft were punishing on anything short on a true pitch with good pace during their second-wicket alliance.

However, Moore was trapped lbw by Yardy's left-arm spin, Karl Brown holed out to long-on off Rippon, who had Horton stumped, Croft lbw, Clark caught at mid-on, Davies lbw reverse sweeping and Parry caught at mid-off to wrap up the win for the South Coast side.

Graham Hardcastle
Photo (c) Paul Holliday/LCCC

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