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Red Rose march on

Lancashire strengthened their position at the top of Division Two by beating Leicestershire by an innings and 52 runs in their LV= County Championship clash at Grace Road.

With the forecast rain staying clear of the ground, it took Lancashire just 18.1 overs to claim the hosts’ last five wickets for 46 runs as the home side were skittled out for 174 in their second innings.

Kyle Hogg took three of the wickets to finish with figures of 5-77 in 22 overs, while Niall O'Brien top-scored for Leicestershire - although his 50 failed to make much difference in a crushing defeat.

The victory earned Lancashire 23 points, while Leicestershire remain rooted to the bottom of the table, still without a championship win this season.

The biggest threat to Lancashire's promotion push looked to be the poor weather forecast but, with no rain around, there was a prompt start to the final day as Leicestershire resumed on 128 for five, still needing another 98 runs to make Lancashire bat again.

There was a flurry of boundaries in the first three overs, successive fours by O'Brien taking him to 50 off 63 balls, yet then the wickets began to fall.

Tom Wells was the first to go, edging to second slip for 17 off Tom Smith before O'Brien departed, also caught in the slips flashing at a wide delivery from Hogg.

When Ollie Freckingham gloved a lifting delivery from Hogg to wicketkeeper Gareth Cross, three wickets had gone for one run in seven overs. The end came quickly after that, Matthew Hoggard bowled by Hogg and James Sykes popping up a simple return catch to Glen Chapple.

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