Lancashire go top after thrilling win
Lancashire went to the top of LV= County Championship Division One after they defied Yorkshire’s obdurate batting line-up before chasing 121 in 14.2 overs for a six-wicket win at Aigburth.
Gary Keedy took 6-133 to finish with match figures of 10-177 in his 200th first-class match as Yorkshire were bowled out for 308 in their second innings.
Resuming on 51 and 47 respectively, neither Joe Sayers nor Andrew Gale could go on and make a big score that could have seen them clinch a draw. Both fell to Keedy.
Sayers was also snared by the veteran Yorkshire-born spinner for 75 but Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid hit half-centuries to seemingly take the game out of Lancashire’s reach.
However, Yorkshire lost their last six wickets for 30 runs, with Keedy their chief scourge, to leave Lancashire needing 121 in 15 overs.
Openers Paul Horton and Steven Moore both made valuable cameos before falling to Rashid, who also accounted for Gareth Cross.
Undeterred, Lancashire continued to press on in search of victory and although Steven Croft fell for 28 to Ryan Sidebottom, Farveez Maharoof’s unbeaten 31 off 19 deliveries saw them home with four balls to spare.
Lancashire's win meant they overhauled Durham, who had moved level with Warwickshire at the summit of Division One after completing an innings-and-25 run victory over Worcestershire on the fourth morning at New Road.
The hosts resumed on 271 for five, needing another 99 to make Durham bat again, and were unable to see out the opening hour of the final day.
Gareth Andrew took his score to 50 before falling to Scott Borthwick, who had Damien Wright caught and bowled with his next delivery.
On-loan wicketkeeper Ben Scott did his best to delay the inevitable, but his dismissal to Steve Harmison for 73 marked the end of the match as Worcestershire were bowled out for 345.
Sussex also wasted little time in wrapping up an impressive eight-wicket win against Somerset at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Chris Nash, who shared an opening stand of 201 with Ed Joyce yesterday, added just nine to his overnight 111 before being bowled by a delivery from Steve Kirby that kept low.
However, it was not long before Sussex, who resumed on 218 for one, reached their victory target of 272, with Luke Wells and Murray Goodwin finishing unbeaten on 32 and 27 respectively.
In Division Two, Tim Phillips’ half-century down the order helped Essex avoid a shock defeat against Surrey at Whitgift School.
A draw looked inevitable this morning as Essex resumed on 112 for two in their second innings, but when Gareth Batty took three wickets - including Alastair Cook for 64 - to reduce Essex to 222 for eight and an overall lead of 246, Surrey had a faint hope of victory
But Phillips struck a vital 58 and was supported by 34 from Chris Wright to lead Essex to 324 all out.
With the chance of victory gone, Surrey openers Tom Maynard and Rory Hamilton-Brown put on a rapid 63 for the first wicket before the former fell to Maurice Chambers. Five minutes later the players shook hands.
Leicestershire also picked up a share of the spoils in their clash with Gloucestershire, despite failing to avoid the follow-on at Grace Road.
Ian Saxelby removed Nadeem Malik as Leicestershire added just eight runs to their overnight score of 315 for nine. Still 181 runs behind, they slipped to 134 for five in their second innings, with Will Gidman claiming three wickets.
An unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 111 between Jigar Naik and Paul Dixey stopped the rot, with the latter making 72 from 112 balls to ensure Leicestershire avoided a second successive championship defeat.
Centuries from Andrew Strauss and Chris Rogers look to be in vain as Middlesex appear destined for defeat against Glamorgan at Lord’s.
Trailing by 372 runs, England captain Strauss warmed up for next week’s first npower Test with a fine century in a 173-run partnership for the second wicket with Rogers after opener Scott Newman had been dismissed cheaply.
Strauss was run out by Graham Wagg for 103 and, although Rogers reached his own hundred, Dawid Malan and Neil Dexter fell for single-figure scores.
Rogers’ vigil was ended for 125 by James Harris, who then had Jamie Dalrymple lbw to leave Middlesex on 293 for six at the close - 79 runs short of making Glamorgan bat again.