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MATCH RESULT - LANCASHIRE WIN BY 104 RUNS

Lancashire - 259 all out & 347 all out - 21 points

Middlesex - 337 all out & 165 all out - 6 points

Lancashire’s cricketers were able to celebrate the presentation of the Second Division championship trophy in some style late on Thursday afternoon after they had completed a 104–run defeat of Middlesex at the end of the best game of four-day cricket seen at Emirates Old Trafford this season.

Needing 270 to win, Middlesex were bowled out for 165 with Tom Bailey taking five for 41 in the innings to complete a match return of 10 for 119. But the visitors’ fine contribution to this game continued on the final day when Martin Andersson’s career-best 83, also his maiden first-class fifty, prolonged the contest almost an hour into the final session.

Yet the visitors’ pursuit had begun atrociously when they lost three wickets for one run in eight balls and were thus 3 for three after 23 balls of their innings.

The first batsman dismissed was Nick Gubbins, who was bowled for one playing no shot to Bailey, and Max Holden was leg before wicket to the medium-quick bowler’s next ball. Although Dawid Malan saved the hat-trick, the Middlesex captain collected a pair next over when his attempted clip to leg off Graham Onions only gave a catch to cover fielder Bailey off a leading edge.

Saqib Mahmood conceded 16 runs, all in boundaries, when Andersson cashed in on four over-pitched deliveries but Onions restored Lancashire’s dominance when he had Sam Robson lbw for 14, leaving Middlesex on 55 for four at lunch.

The only batsman dismissed in the afternoon session was John Simpson, who was leg before wicket to Matt Parkinson for five, and Middlesex entered the final session needing 144 off 36 overs, albeit with only five wickets in hand but with both Andersson and James Harris batting competently.

However, any prospects of victory were ended in the five overs after the resumption. Predictably, Bailey struck the first blow when he had Harris caught behind by Vilas for 38, thus ending his 81-run stand for the sixth wicket. Two overs later the same bowler had Toby Roland-Jones lbw for five and just five balls later Nathan Sowter was caught at slip by Keaton Jennings off Matt Parkinson for a single.

Bailey was not to be denied further success. His dismissal of Cummins, caught behind by Vilas for nine, completed the ninth five-wicket haul of his career, five of which have been secured against Middlesex. But the honour of taking the last wicket to fall at Old Trafford this season fell to Saqib Mahmood who bowled Andersson when the batsman inside-edged the ball onto his stumps to end his 167-ball innings and preserve Lancashire’s unbeaten record.

In the first 45 minutes of the day Lancashire had added 56 runs in 9.5 overs, Parkinson making a career-best 14 and Steven Croft contributing 40 off 67 balls before losing his middle stump to James Harris. Parkinson had earlier been caught behind by Simpson off Toby Roland-Jones but Lancashire had found run-scoring relatively easy, especially when Miguel Cummins offered Croft several short balls.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY FOUR

Lancashire - 259 all out & 347 all out

Middlesex - 337 all out & 126/5

A maiden half-century by Martin Andersson has kept alive Middlesex’s hopes of inflicting a first league defeat of the season on Division Two champions Lancashire.

Needing 270 to win, the visitors were 126 for five at tea with Andersson unbeaten on 62 and James Harris on 37 not out. The pair have put on 71 for the sixth wicket and only batsman dismissed in the afternoon session was John Simpson, who was leg before wicket to Matt Parkinson for five. Middlesex now need 144 off 36 overs, albeit with only five wickets in hand.

The visitors’ pursuit had begun badly when they lost three wickets for one run in eight balls and were thus 3 for three after 23 balls of their innings.

The first batsman dismissed was Nick Gubbins, who was bowled for one playing no shot to Tom Bailey. Max Holden was leg before wicket to Bailey’s next ball and although Dawid Malan saved the hat-trick, the Middlesex captain collected a pair next over when his attempted clip to leg off Graham Onions only gave a catch to cover fielder Bailey off a leading edge.

Saqib Mahmood conceded 16 runs, all in boundaries, when Andersson cashed in on four over-pitched deliveries but Onions restored Lancashire’s dominance when he had Sam Robson lbw for 14.

In the first 45 minutes of the day Lancashire added 56 runs in 9.5 overs, Parkinson making a career-best 14 and Steven Croft contributing 40 off 67 balls before losing his middle stump to James Harris. Parkinson had earlier been caught behind by Simpson off Toby Roland-Jones but Lancashire had found run-scoring relatively easy, especially when Miguel Cummins offered Croft several short balls.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY FOUR

Lancashire - 259 all out & 347 all out

Middlesex - 337 all out & 55/4

Needing 270 in 84 overs to inflict a first league defeat on Lancashire, the Division Two champions, Middlesex were tottering at 55 for four at lunch.

However, even that represented something of a recovery given that the visitors had lost three wickets for one run in eight balls to be 3 for three after 23 balls of their innings.

The first batsman dismissed was Nick Gubbins, who was bowled for one playing no shot to Tom Bailey. Max Holden was leg before wicket to Bailey’s next ball and although Dawid Malan saved the hat-trick, the Middlesex captain collected a pair next over when his attempted clip to leg off Graham Onions only gave a catch to cover fielder Bailey off a leading edge.

Saqib Mahmood conceded 16 runs, all in boundaries, when Martin Andersson cashed in on four over-pitched deliveries but Onions restored Lancashire’s dominance when he had Sam Robson lbw for 14.

In the first 45 minutes of the day Lancashire added 56 runs in 9.5 overs, Matthew Parkinson making a career-best 14 and Steven Croft contributing 40 off 67 balls before losing his middle stump to James Harris. Parkinson had earlier been caught behind by John Simpson off Toby Roland-Jones but Lancashire had found run-scoring relatively easy, especially when Miguel Cummins offered Croft several short balls.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


STUMPS - DAY THREE

Lancashire - 259 all out & 289/8

Middlesex - 337 all out

Middlesex claimed five wickets in a rather dramatic evening session at Emirates Old Trafford as they sought to inflict a first championship defeat on the soon-to-be crowned Division Two champions Lancashire.

Having spent the first two days of this match recovering from 34 for six to make 337 in reply to the home side’s 259, Dawid Malan’s bowlers had restricted the home side to 289 for eight when bad light ended play 11 overs early. That gives Lancashire a lead of only 211 and it all but completed a second fine fightback by Middlesex after a day the first two sessions of which had been dominated by the batsmen.

Miguel Cummins ended the day with figures of four for 50 but Ethan Bamber took two vital wickets with the new ball while Lancashire’s best contribution was made by

Keaton Jennings, who was dismissed for 97 for the second time this season when he chopped a ball from Nathan Sowter onto his leg stump. Jennings’ dismissal ended his 127-run stand with Livingstone and was the first of five Lancashire wickets to fall in 13 overs as the home side declined from 253 for three to 282 for eight

In the morning session a career-best 34 by Saqib Mahmood had enabled Lancashire’s batsmen to wipe out their 78-run first-innings deficit during a relatively quiet two hours’ cricket.

Mahmood hit five fours before he was caught behind when playing forward to Cummins but his was the only wicket lost on a pitch which seemed to be flattening out after a first day in which 16 wickets fell.

Lancashire’s domination continued during the second session when the only batsman dismissed was Josh Bohannon, who was lbw to Toby Roland-Jones for 28, having helped Jennings put on 51 for the third wicket.

Liam Livingstone joined Jennings and the pair put on 127 for the fourth wicket either side of the tea interval, Livingstone twice hitting Sowter for sixes during his 116-ball 68. But when he was three short of what would have been his first championship century of the season, Jennings fell to Sowter, a dismissal which changed the course of what is proving to be the best game of championship cricket seen at Old Trafford this season.

Bamber had Livingstone caught behind by Simpson two overs after taking the new ball and then trapped Lancashire skipper Dane Vilas leg before for only two in his next over. Rob Jones fell to Cummins for 16, caught in the gully by Sowter, and when Tom Bailey was pouched by Dawid Malan at second slip for only four Lancashire were faced with the prospect of defending a fairly modest target on the final day of the season at Emirates Old Trafford if they wished to defend their unbeaten record in championship cricket.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY THREE

Lancashire - 259 all out & 235/3

Middlesex - 337 all out

Lancashire’s batsmen continued to dominate the third day of their First Division match against Middlesex at Emirates Old Trafford and by tea they had reached 235 for three, giving them a lead of 157 with seven wickets in hand.

Keaton Jennings was 90 not out when the players returned to the pavilion and Liam Livingstone was unbeaten on 57 with the pair having added an unbroken 109 for the fourth wicket. The only batsman dismissed during the second session was Josh Bohannon, who was lbw to Toby Roland-Jones for 28, having helped Jennings put on 51 for the third wicket.

In the morning session a career-best 34 by Saqib Mahmood had enabled Lancashire’s batsmen to wipe out their 78-run first-innings deficit during a relatively quiet two hours’ cricket.

Mahmood hit five fours before he was caught behind when playing forward to Miguel Cummins but that was the only wicket to fall on a pitch which is flattening out from the first day when 16 wickets fell. Cummins is currently the most successful Middlesex bowler in Lancashire’s second innings with figures of two for 45.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY THREE

Lancashire - 259 all out & 95/2

Middlesex - 337 all out

A career-best 34 by Saqib Mahmood enabled Lancashire’s batsmen to wipe out their 78-run first-innings deficit during a relatively quiet third morning’s play in the game against Middlesex at Emirates Old Trafford.

Mahmood hit five fours before he was caught behind when playing forward to Miguel Cummins but that was the only wicket to fall on a pitch which is flattening out from the first day when 16 wickets fell.

At lunch Lancashire were 95 for two, thus giving them a lead of 17. Keaton Jennings was 38 not out and Josh Bohannon was unbeaten on 13.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


STUMPS - DAY TWO

Lancashire - 259 all out & 14/1

Middlesex - 337 all out

A quite extraordinary day’s cricket at Emirates Old Trafford saw Middlesex recover from their overnight 39 for six to post 337, their magnificent effort held together by the Lancashire-born John Simpson, who made a career-best 167 not out, an innings which included 26 fours and one six.

Having conceded an utterly unexpected first-innings lead of 78, Lancashire were 14 for one at the close and the champions may even have a fight on their hands to preserve their unbeaten record over the last two days of this game.

Simpson shared three substantial partnerships during his 347-

minute innings. He put on 107 for the seventh wicket with James Harris, 76 for the eighth with Toby Roland-Jones and 94 for the ninth with Nathan Sowter, the latter setting a new ninth-wicket record for Middlesex against Lancashire.

But the signs were good for Middlesex in the opening overs of the day.

Simpson and Harris batted with near-perfect competence in the morning session and had taken their side to 132 for six at lunch. They had already changed the shape of a game hitherto dominated by the Division Two champions

A quarter of an hour before lunch Lancashire’s spinners, Liam Livingstone and Parkinson were operating in tandem but neither could make a breakthrough. Having reached his half-century off 73 balls with a cover drive off Graham Onions, Simpson hit Livingstone for a straight six but that was only a prelude to a further assault in the afternoon session.

Middlesex’s batsmen continued their domination in the second session and by tea the visitors were 252 for eight, only eight runs short of taking an entirely unexpected first-innings lead. Their continued revival was led quite brilliantly by Simpson, who was 137 not out at tea, having made his second century of the season but his first against the county of his birth,

Simpson had reached his century off 154 balls with a pulled four off Tom Bailey, the seamer who had caused his team so much trouble.

Lancashire did, however, take two wickets in the session. Both were claimed by Matt Parkinson, who bowled Harris for 32 with a classic leg spinner and then had Roland-Jones caught by Graham Onions, also for 32, when he skied Parkinson behind the bowler and the fielder ran round from mid-on.

In the evening session Middlesex’s batsmen continued to torment a tiring Lancashire attack. Sowter reached his fifty off 63 balls with seven fours and Simpson got to 150 off 236 balls.

Lancashire’s bowlers received some reward for their efforts when Sowter was caught at slip by Liam Livingstone off Saqib Mahmood for 52 but Simpson then added 26 with Ethan Bamber for the last wicket before Bamber top-edged a slog off Parkinson to Keaton Jennings at slip.

The most successful Lancashire bowler was Bailey, who ended the innings with five for 78; twenty-four hours previously his figures had been five for 16. Parkinson took three for 49.

Lancashire’s second innings began badly when Alex Davies top edged a pull off Miguel Cummins to Harris at long leg and thus departed for a five-ball duck.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY TWO

Lancashire - 259 all out

Middlesex - 252/8

Middlesex’s batsmen continued their domination of the second day of this game and by tea the visitors were 252 for eight, only eight runs short of taking an entirely unexpected first-innings lead. Their revival from an overnight 39 for six was led quite brilliantly by John Simpson, who was 137 not out, having made his second century of the season but his first against the county of his birth,

Simpson reached his century off 154 balls with a pulled four off Tom Bailey, the seamer who had caused his team so much trouble. At tea he had hit 24 fours and one six.

Lancashire did, however, take two wickets in the session. Both were claimed by Matt Parkinson, who bowled James Harris for 32 with a classic leg spinner and then had Toby Roland-Jones caught by Graham Onions, also for 32, when he skied Parkinson behind the bowler and the fielder ran round from mid-on. Simpson had put on 107 for the seventh wicket with Harris and a further 76 with Roland- Jones.

After struggling to 39 for six in reply to Lancashire’s 259 on the first evening of this game, Middlesex had batted with perfect competence in the morning session and were 132 for six at lunch. They had already changed the shape of a game hitherto dominated by the Division Two champions.

A quarter of an hour before lunch Lancashire’s spinners, Liam Livingstone and Parkinson were operating in tandem but neither could make a breakthrough. Having reached his half-century off 73 balls with a cover drive off Graham Onions, Simpson hit Livingstone for a straight six but that was only a prelude to a further assault in the afternoon session.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY TWO

Lancashire - 259 all out

Middlesex - 132/6

After struggling to 39 for six in reply to Lancashire’s 259 on the first evening of this game, Middlesex batted with perfect competence on Tuesday morning and were 132 for six at lunch. When the players came in for the first interval, John Simpson was 71 not out and James Harris was unbeaten on 27.

The pair had extended their seventh-wicket partnership to 98 and in so doing had changed the shape of a game which had hitherto been dominated by the Division Two champions

A quarter of an hour before lunch Lancashire’s spinners, Liam Livingstone and Matthew Parkinson were operating in tandem but neither could make a breakthrough. Having reached his half-century off 73 balls with a cover drive off Graham Onions, Simpson hit Livingstone for a straight six and is now three runs shy of his best score against the county of his birth.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


STUMPS - DAY ONE

Lancashire - 259 all out

Middlesex - 39/6

What had seemed almost certain for over a month was finally confirmed just after 4.30 on the first day of this game when Lancashire clinched the Second Division championship.

Northamptonshire’s failure to get more than one batting bonus point from their game against Durham combined with Lancashire gaining two points for their first innings total of 259 against Middlesex at Emirates Old Trafford meant that the home side had secured its third promotion in seven seasons.

And after posting a total that seemed no better than par on a good cricket wicket, Lancashire’s bowlers celebrated their side’s success by taking three Middlesex wickets for no runs in seven balls to reduce the visitors to 15 for three before Max Holden and Martin Andersson, the latter making his first championship appearance of the season, tried to restore order.

But Andersson was lbw for four and thereby joined Nick Gubbins and Dawid Malan as victims of Tom Bailey. But the Lancashire new-ball bowler was not finished there. He was fortunate to trap the Middlesex nightwatchman, Miguel Cummins, lbw for two but he then pulled off a brilliant caught and bowled, low to his right, to remove Max Holden for five and the visitors finished on 39 for six after 18 over, Bailey having taken five wickets in the space of 24 balls and ending the day with five for 16 from nine overs.

Thus, a hitherto well-contested day ended with the home side well on top and well placed to make further breakthroughs when play resumes at 10.30 on Tuesday.

But Lancashire’s late successes were only achieved at the end of a day in which the Middlesex attack had stuck to its disciplines and performed well despite resting three front-line seamers. Liam Livingstone led the way for Lancashire with an innings of 84 but this match had seemed well-balanced after both James Harris and Nathan Sowter had taken three wickets.

In the first session Lancashire openers Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings put on 49 for the first wicket in confident style before both departed in the space of six balls. Davies was caught behind by John Simpson off Harris for 16 and Keaton Jennings was leg before to Miguel Cummins for 22 when he played inside a ball which was slanted in to him.

Josh Bohannon and Livingstone both began their innings with a flurry of fours but Bohannon’s hopes of repeating his 174 against Derbyshire ended when he was caught by Simpson off a fine ball from Toby Roland-Jones for 19.

The play after lunch was notable for a succession of boundaries, two of which were hit by the impressive Rob Jones, but the Cheshire right-hander was bowled for 11 when playing all too loosely at James Harris. An over later Dane Vilas edged Miguel Cummins to Malan and departed for only his second duck of the season.

Livingstone went on the attack, reaching his fifty off 64 balls with a pulled four off Harris, but just when his century seemed probable, the Cumbrian right-hander was leg before to Ethan Bamber. Bailey was caught at mid off by Cummins off Sowter for nine but Steven Croft’s unbeaten 55, his fourth fifty of the season, ensured Lancashire reached what has now become a formidable total. Sowter finished with three for 42 and Harris three for 59.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY ONE

Lancashire - 215/7

Lancashire need a maximum of five points from this game to clinch the Second Division title but the home side had collected just one and had struggled to 215 for seven after 64 overs at tea on the first day against a Middlesex team that has stuck to its disciplines and performed well despite resting three front-line seamers. Liam Livingstone has led the way for Lancashire with an innings of 84 but this match is well-balanced and all four of Middlesex’s front-line seamers have taken at least one wicket.

Openers Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings put on 49 for the first wicket in confident style before both departed in the space of six balls. Davies was caught behind by John Simpson off James Harris for 16 and Keaton Jennings was leg before to Miguel Cummins for 22 when he played inside a ball which was slanted in to him.

Josh Bohannon and Liam Livingstone both began their innings with a flurry of fours but Bohannon’s hopes of repeating his 174 against Derbyshire ended when he was caught by Simpson off a fine ball from Toby Roland-Jones for 19.

The play after lunch was notable for a succession of boundaries, two of which were hit by the impressive Rob Jones, but the Cheshire right-hander was bowled for 11 when playing all too loosely at James Harris. An over later Dane Vilas edged Miguel Cummins to Dawid Malan and departed for only his second duck of the season.

Livingstone went on the attack, reaching his fifty off 64 balls with a pulled four off Harris, but just when his century seemed probable, the Cumbrian right-hander was leg before to Ethan Bamber. Tom Bailey was caught at mid off by Cummins off Nathan Sowter for nine but Steven Croft was 28 not out at tea, by which time Northamptonshire’s failings with the bat were encouraging the home spectators that the title might be secured this evening.

Middlesex have rested Tom Helm, Tim Murtagh and Steven Finn for this game but have included Martin Andersson in place of Stevie Eskinazi.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY ONE

Lancashire - 92/3

Lancashire need a maximum of five points from this game to clinch the Second Division title but the home side were 92 for three after 27 overs at lunch on the first day against a Middlesex team that had rested three front-line seamers and has next to no hope of winning promotion.

Openers Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings put on 49 for the first wicket in confident style before both departed in the space of six balls. Davies was caught behind by John Simpson off James Harris for 16 and Keaton Jennings was leg before to Miguel Cummins for 22 when he played inside a ball which was slanted in to him.

Josh Bohannon and Liam Livingstone both began their innings with a flurry of fours but Bohannon’s hopes of repeating his 174 against Derbyshire ended when he was caught by Simpson off a fine ball from Toby Roland-Jones for 19. At the first interval Livingstone was 20 not out and Rob Jones was unbeaten on nought.

Middlesex have rested Tom Helm, Tim Murtagh and Steven Finn for this game but have included Martin Andersson in place of Stevie Eskinazi.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.

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LANCASHIRE v MIDDLESEX | DAY FOUR ACTION

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DAWID MALAN | POST MATCH INTERVIEW | LANCASHIRE v MIDDLESEX

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JOHN SIMPSON | DAY TWO INTERVIEW | LANCASHIRE v MIDDLESEX

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JAMES HARRIS | LANCASHIRE v MIDDLESEX | DAY ONE INTERVIEW

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