Chilton knock guides Lancs

Lv County Championship

Mark Chilton fell just short of a century as Lancashire, who have secured their LV County Championship Division One status for next season, recorded a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Somerset at Taunton.

Somerset had gone into the game with title aspirations but those were not fulfilled in an abject performance.

Thick fog in the morning delayed the start, but the game eventually recommenced at 11.30am with Lancashire on 122 without loss, still requiring a further 60 for victory.

In the still murky conditions Charl Willoughby opened proceedings from the River End with a maiden over bowled to Paul Horton who resumed on 43 not out.

At the other end, however, Chilton suggested he was in a hurry to finish things off when he hit two boundaries off Andy Caddick’s first six balls.

But it was Caddick who produced the first half-chance of the day when Horton cut a ball just to the right of Zander de Bruyn at gully which went to the boundary to bring up the batsman’s half-century off 99 balls, including 10 fours.

Shortly afterwards Horton brought up the 150 when he ran four off Willoughby to long off.

Off the fifth ball of the next over Horton fended at a ball a short ball from Caddick and was caught at second slip by Marcus Trescothick for 57.

Mark Chilton

Mark Chilton drives expansively in his innings of 97 which set up victory over a frustrated Somerset

By this time Caddick was right back into his stride and in his next over accounted for Chilton who edged a short ball down the leg side and was caught by wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter for 97.

Lancashire captain Stuart Law came to the wicket to join Karl Brown and the pair remained together to notch up the team’s fifth victory of the season off the fourth ball after the lunch break as the visitors reached 183 for two.

Lancashire took 18 points from this result and Somerset, who had gone into the final round of matches with high hopes of winning the championship for the first time, took just four.

Somerset captain Justin Langer said: “It was a very disappointing last game and there is no doubt about that, but if we are brutally honest with ourselves for us to finish third fourth in the table is probably where we deserve to be.

“We could have stolen the championship this weekend but it with only winning three games in the year we don’t really deserve to win it.”

The 37-year-old Western Australian, who will return to skipper Somerset next season, added: “We are taking steps forward from where we have been over the last couple of years but we have got to get better to be more committed in everything we do.

“If we do that then there is no reason why we can’t win it next year.”

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