Six-wicket star Simon Kerrigan is still confident that Lancashire can win their LV= County Championship match against Essex at Old Trafford, despite a poor display with the bat on day two.
Kerrigan completed a career best of 6-74 from 38.3 overs to bowl Essex out for 307 in their first innings this morning, but then watched on as his side’s top order crumbled to 101-7 after 37 overs.
A fourth half century of the summer from Sajid Mahmood, a run-a-ball 58, at least saved the Red Rose from the embarrassment of having to follow-on, but a total of 184 has put them firmly on the back foot.
Kyle Hogg did strike with the wicket of Billy Godleman, caught behind by Luke Sutton in the closing stages of the day, but the visitors closed on 26-1 from 13 overs of their second innings and will resume tomorrow’s third day with a lead of 149.
Kerrigan said: “We’re not out of this game. We’ve got to restrict them to 200-250, then try to chase on the last day.”
Kerrigan had taken the last four wickets of the Essex first innings before lunch, including three of them in eight balls to help clinch a third bowling bonus point in the most dramatic of fashions.
The 21 year-old, who took five wickets in the second innings of the opening game of the season against Warwickshire here, trapped David Masters lbw in the 108th over, then took two wickets in a fabulous 110th over.
Essex started the over on 299-7, needing one run for a third batting point. After three dot balls, Chris Wright was trapped lbw on the sweep with the fourth before Kerrigan bowled Danish Kaneria as the Pakistani tried a huge swipe off the last ball of the over in search of that elusive run.
That wicket gave Lancashire an extra bonus point and Kerrigan ended the innings when he had Maurice Chambers caught at short-leg by Mark Chilton six overs later.
Having joked that he was expecting to be “on holiday” for the four days when he saw the colour of the pitch before the start of the match, Kerrigan said: “I was being told by every fielder that Kaneria was going to run down the pitch because that’s the way he plays. I tried to bowl it as fast as I could to get it through him. It paid off.”
Conditions were favouring the bowlers more than they had done on day one, but the ball was not swinging around corners or jagging here, there and everywhere by any stretch of the imagination.
Kaneria took three wickets, while Ryan ten Doeschate and Maurice Chambers took two apiece for Essex. Mark Chilton also added a valuable 49, but apart from Mahmood, nobody else made it beyond Paul Horton’s 19.
Lancashire were certainly not helped by Stephen Moore’s bout of sickness in the morning, meaning that he could only come in at No.6. When he did, he only made three.
Kerrigan added: “All the lads are bitterly disappointed not to get the total we wanted in the first innings. But we know we’ve got some class players in the dressing room, and it’s one of the few bad days we’ve had in the Championship.”
Day 1 Report
Graham Hardcastle at Old Trafford
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd