Kerrigan on cloud nine

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Simon Kerrigan

Spinner Simon Kerrigan's nine wickets demolished Hampshire, who remain at the bottom of Division One, and kept Lancashire right among the title race

Simon Kerrigan spun Lancashire to a thrilling LV= County Championship win over Hampshire at Liverpool, leaving them three points behind leaders Warwickshire heading into the season’s final week.

The 22-year-old England Lions left-armer stunned Division One’s bottom side with career-best figures of 9-51 from 37.2 overs as victory was secured with just four minutes of the contest remaining.

Hampshire were set 361 to win from a minimum of 67 overs but Lancashire bowled 84.2 in ripping the visitors out for 138.

Despite some top-order resistance, the visitors crumbled in a remarkable session after tea, slumping from 77 for three to 199 for nine as Kerrigan took all six.

But the last-wicket pair of Neil McKenzie and James Tomlinson batted for 21.2 overs to almost prevent Hampshire’s 222-run defeat.

Liam Dawson was first to go when he missed a heave over midwicket to Kerrigan and was stumped by Gareth Cross, leaving Hampshire 26 for one in the 12th over. Kerrigan struck again in the 22nd, trapping Jimmy Adams lbw.

Gary Keedy had Michael Carberry caught by Karl Brown at mid-off nine overs later and, when Kerrigan struck for a third time - trapping James Vince lbw with his first ball of the match from the River End, Hampshire were 77 for four in the 37th.

Sean Ervine, who clubbed Kerrigan for six over wide long-on, and McKenzie then shared 30 in 12.2 for the fifth wicket to weather a mini-storm.

But Kerrigan ensured there was another on the way. He had Ervine caught at first slip by Paul Horton and bowled Michael Bates for a second-ball duck to reduce the visitors to 107 for six in the 49th over.

Dimitri Mascarenhas was next to go, falling in identical fashion to Ervine in Kerrigan’s next over with the score still on 107.

Kerrigan’s stunning day continued when Chris Wood edged behind to a juggling Cross in the 59th over. And when the same bowler had Danny Briggs caught at silly point by Luke Procter in the 62nd, Hampshire were on the brink at 119 for nine.

The feature of Tomlinson’s and McKenzie’s alliance was that they batted with soft hands with up to 10 men around the bat at stages, but the latter nudged Kerrigan to Tom Smith at silly point to spark wild scenes on and off the field.

Earlier, opener Stephen Moore led Lancashire’s search for quick runs by completing a 230-ball innings of 169 not out, including 17 fours.

The hosts resumed this morning on 195 for two with a lead of 202 and he and Karl Brown, who made 54, added 158 in 27 overs to finish on 353 for three from 77 overs. The pair shared a third-wicket partnership of 161 inside 29 overs.

Hampshire now have to beat Warwickshire at home next week to have any hope of survival. Lancashire, meanwhile, travel to Taunton to face Somerset.

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