Lancashire are back in the top flight of the LV= County Championship following their draw today against Leics at Emirates Old Trafford, and the drawn game between Kent and Essex at Canterbury.
Today's result means that Lancs need 12 points from their final two games to clinch the Division 2 title.
The Red Rose took seven wickets during today’s fourth day, which meant the Foxes were bowled out for 329 in reply to 453-7 declared. The players shook hands on the draw immediately after Tom Smith took the final Leicestershire wicket, that of James Sykes for 34 to a stunning catch by Ashwell Prince who had sprinted from slip to third man to make the catch..
Stand-in captain Paul Horton and his side claimed a maximum of eleven points for the draw, and were later able to start their promotion celebrations when Essex and Kent drew.
Kyle Hogg and Simon Kerrigan finished with three wickets, while Oliver Newby and Smith both finished with two. Left-arm spinner Kerrigan took all of his three wickets today.
Leicestershire seamer Ben Raine was his side’s standout performer today with a career best 72 off 162, including eight fours and a six over mid-wicket off Andrea Agathangelou’s off-spin. Lancashire bowled 37 overs of spin today.
Raine, 22-years-old today, shared 61 for the sixth wicket with Matt Boyce, who made 38. He then shared 69 for the seventh with Tom Wells, who made a career best 43.
The highlight of the day from Lancashire’s point of view came right at the last when Ashwell Prince completed a stunning diving catch running back from the slip cordon when Sykes had top-edged a pull against Smith.
Reaction from Peter Moores will follow shortly.
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh