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Match Report

Shahzad shines in debut

Shahzad shines in debut

Ajmal Shahzad put his name in the record books by taking three wickets in his first 13 balls for Lancashire as their rain-ruined County Championship match against Sussex finished in a draw at Hove today.

The 26 year-old fast bowler, on loan from Yorkshire until the end of the season, struck with his first ball before adding a second wicket in his first over, and each of his three wickets all came via successful lbw appeals.

Shahzad becomes the first man to take a wicket with his first ball for Lancashire in the County Championship since Harry Tyldesley did it against Derbyshire in 1914, and no player has ever taken two wickets in their opening over for the county having struck with their first ball.

Shahzad linked up with Sajid Mahmood after tea on day four to reduce the hosts from 58-0 to 71-3 in the space of 12 ball before they fell to 85-4 in their reply to Lancashire's 144-8 declared. Shahzad removed Ed Joyce, Luke Wells and Chris Nash.

And captain Glen Chapple was impressed by Shahzad's contribution saying: "Ajmal bowled superbly. We managed to take four wickets quickly, and we fought hard all day. I thought Sussex played superbly well, credit to them.

"Ajmal showed a great attitude to the game today. I think he enjoyed bowling. He put in a great day's work for us. We're getting to know him, he's a good lad, and we're looking forward to him doing well for us."

A brilliant fifth-wicket stand of 142 inside 24 overs between England wicketkeeper Matt Prior and Michael Yardy, however, enabled Sussex to clinch three batting points as they declared on 300-8 from 47.4 overs.

Yardy hit 63 off 76 balls, including nine fours, and Prior 86 off 80 balls, including five fours and four sixes, but both were caught in the deep by Stephen Moore and Karl Brown off Mahmood's bowling as Lancashire clinched two of the three bowling points on offer.

Luke Procter also had Naved Arif caught behind by Gareth Cross and Steve Magoffin caught at mid-off by Paul Horton. Shahzad finished with 3-71 from 12.4 overs and Mahmood 3-80 from ten and Procter 2-42 from eight. Lancashire take five points back up north.

Rain ravaged the first three days of this clash, and both teams agreed to play for first innings bonus points only instead of contriving a run-chase for a result during the final day.

After handing a debut to Shahzad as part of a five-man all pace attack, the visitors slumped to 140-8 after Glen Chapple won the toss.

With the prospect of gaining a batting bonus point slim - the first one is awarded when you reach 200 - the skipper declared at 144-8 in order to try and pick up some bowling points.

Glen Chapple explained later, "we were a bit too far from the first bonus point, we were eight down. The way we were losing wickets when it was doing a bit, there was 48 overs left for us to get full bowling points, which we thought was a realistic target. We went for it (batting), and it didn't work out, so we decided to get on with the bowling."

Naved, a Pakistani left-arm fast bowler with a Danish passport, led the way with three wickets and a direct hit run out from mid-on to get rid of Brown, who top-scored for Lancashire with 41.

Australian Magoffin also struck twice, as did Lancaster-born Jimmy Anyon.

Moore pulled Naved Arif for a six early on before Brown slog-swept Magoffin for a maximum and Procter did likewise to England spinner Monty Panesar. But Lancashire slipped from 112-3 to 140-8 inside the space of eleven overs on a decent batting pitch.

Chapple concluded: "We wanted at least three bonus points really. Sussex managed five, and that's what we were looking for out of a good day. As it turns out, it's a couple of points. It was a competitive day's cricket, and we just came out second best. We went for it and tried to play positively."

Graham Hardcastle
Photo: Neeil Tingle/EMPICS Sport
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd


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