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Match Report

Lancs take charge at Liverpool

Lancashire shrugged off the absence of skipper Glen Chapple to take charge of their LV= County Championship match with Somerset at Liverpool

Gary Keedy claimed 3-26 and Sajid Mahmood 3-72 as they bowled out the pre-season favourites for 268 on the opening day.

Stephen Moore then raced to an unbeaten 52 in just 63 balls and, along with Paul Horton, saw off the final 20 overs as Lancashire closed on 70 without loss in reply.

A 98-run partnership between James Hildreth and Nick Compton was the highlight for Somerset after they were reduced to 31-2 in the opening nine overs after winning the toss.

But Lancashire produced a devastating second session, claiming six wickets as the visitors slumped from 129-2 at lunch to 240-8 at tea.

Gareth Cross took four catches and made two stumpings to become only the eighth Lancashire wicketkeeper to claim six victims in an innings in first-class cricket.

Lancashire gave new overseas signing Farveez Maharoof his debut, while Mark Chilton took over as skipper in place of Chapple, who picked up a slight calf injury in training.

And Mahmood believes it shows Lancashire can perform without their captain.

“Chappie is a top-class bowler who has performed day in, day out for Lancashire over several years now,” said Mahmood. “It was a big blow when we found out he was out, but we got our heads around it.

“We have proven we can do well without him.

“With me being the senior bowler, Peter Moores told me not to put too much pressure on myself because that is when I bowl at my best.

“Rhythm wise this is probably the best I have felt so far.”

Lancs started well as Marcus Trescothick, who dispatched the opening delivery of the day for four, edged Mahmood’s second ball to Cross.

Arul Suppiah quickly followed as he gloved the former England paceman down leg side for Cross to claim his second victim.

Hildreth and Compton weathered the storm, however, and begin rebuilding at a rapid rate. England Lions captain Hildreth reached his half-century in just 58 balls, crashing seven boundaries.

But the partnership was ended off the fourth ball after tea in bizarre style when Hildreth was stumped by Cross for 55 after losing his balance while facing Keedy.

Compton brought up his 50 off 111 balls before he was caught at backward point by Steven Croft off Oliver Newby.

Jos Buttler then edged an unplayable delivery from Tom Smith to Cross, while Peter Trego went cheaply, caught by Karl Brown after top-edging Smith. Gemaal Hussain then became Cross’s fifth victim as he was caught behind off Keedy.

While there was a revolving door at one end, Craig Kieswetter was holding up the other, reaching 50 in 97 balls.

But he went off the final ball before tea as he was stumped by Cross after charging down the wicket to Keedy for 53.
Mahmood claimed his third wicket, bowling Ajantha Mendis for 18, before Newby wrapped up the innings with Sri Lankan Maharoof holding a good catch to dismiss Charl Willoughby.

“The first session didn’t go to plan for us but we had a rethink and bowled well after lunch,” said Mahmood.
“We bowled well as a unit and put them under pressure by stopping them scoring. We are pretty pleased at keeping them to 268.

“It was swinging and bouncing all day, but if you play the right shots you will get value for that.

“A lot of people have been saying Somerset are favourites for this game but the way the lads have played this year we can beat anyone.”
Photos (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article is copyright of Lancashire CCC Ltd and must not be reproduced without permission



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