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Match Report

Croft leads Lancs on below par day

Croft leads Lancs on below par day

Ashwell Prince believes Lancashire should have done better after they reached 323-8 from 96 overs at close on the opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

The South African left-hander was one of three men to pass 50, but only Steven Croft has the chance to make a big score because he will resume in the morning unbeaten on 75 with Sajid Mahmood for company.

Prince said: “It’s a pitch which we should have cashed in on. We are looking to get a minimum of 400, that’s what we set ourselves at the start of the innings.

“With Crofty there, and if Saj bats the way he has done, we might still get there, but the fact that eight wickets fell is a bit below par. There have been too many soft dismissals, including myself. Quite a few of us got in, but did not go on to make a big score.”

Opener Stephen Moore made 61 off 139 balls, but was the fourth man out when caught at mid-off trying to loft leg-spinner Imran Tahir over the top. Prince had been bowled around his legs trying to sweep Imran for 51 earlier in the afternoon session.

But in-form Croft top scored with a compact, unbeaten 75 off 126 balls, and it was his seventh 50 in eight LV= Division One innings going back to the final game of last season against the same opponents.

After Lancashire captain Glen Chapple had elected to bat, Luke Sutton was trapped lbw by Boyd Rankin with the first ball of the second over. And when Paul Horton edged the medium pace of Darren Maddy behind to Tim Ambrose the Red Rose were 45-2 in the 14th over.

Moore and Prince then shared a third wicket stand of 94 in 30 overs either side of lunch before Mark Chilton (39) and Croft shared 78 for the fifth wicket inside 20 overs either side of tea.

Chilton fell in the 69th when he edged Andrew Miller behind - and Tom Smith, batting at No.7, edged the same bowler to Jonathan Trott at first slip for seven six overs later. Left-handed debutant Luke Procter then hit three boundaries in a brief 13 before he was caught at third man by Neil Carter trying to uppercut Rankin.

That gave Croft, who hit ten fours, and Chapple (29) the opportunity to share the third partnership of 50 or more. They put on 54 in 13 overs before the latter was trapped lbw by Miller, who was the pick of the home attack with 3-45 from 16.

Meanwhile, Lancashire have been given a boost with the news that England have given Jimmy Anderson permission to play in the match when he arrives back from the West Indies with the rest of the World Twenty20 squad.

Competition rules allow teams to bring in a substitute to cater for late international calls or for players who miss out on the final England eleven, and Anderson will come into this match in place of Procter, who had replaced Daren Powell in the original line-up.

The 27 year-old did not feature in the World Twenty20, so this match provides him with a chance to get some game time ahead of next Thursday’s first Test against Bangladesh at Lord’s.

The England squad are due to land at Gatwick Airport at 11.15am tomorrow, and Anderson could feasibly be in action some time later in the day.

Red Rose coach Peter Moores explained: “After they land he’ll get himself sorted and come and join the game. Exactly the timing of it, we’re not sure. It depends on things like when they land, how he feels and what the traffic’s like.

“We’ve got to make sure he’s ready and loose because England have got a Test match coming up. It’ll be great for Jimmy to get some overs under his belt because he’s a bowler who’s better after a bowl.”
Graham Hardcastle at Edgbaston
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd


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