Moore the merrier on Lancashire's day
Stephen Moore insists Lancashire are “happy with where we’re at” after a prosperous day with ball and bat bolstered their hopes of LV= County Championship glory.
Somerset lost their last five wickets for 60 runs in being bowled out shortly after lunch, and the suspicion that 380 that was a marginally below-par total on a splendid surface was given further credence as Lancashire closed the second day on 247 for three.
While the deficit, which currently stands at 133, is by no means insignificant, Lancashire have good reason to be happy with their all-round display today – particularly as Warwickshire, bidding to protect a three-point lead at the top of the table before the final round of games, failed to break through against Hampshire after posting an imposing 493.
“It’s been a good day for us,” said Moore, who contributed 68 to Lancashire’s healthy close-of-play score after sharing century stands with Paul Horton and Karl Brown for the first two wickets.
“We set ourselves a target of (keeping Somerset) under 400 and we backed it up this morning with a great spell.
“We’re chasing Warwickshire and it was important we came out with intent. We were positive with the bat and we’ve given ourselves a chance.
“There’s still a lot of cricket to be played but we’re happy with where we’re at at this stage of the game.”
As much as Moore and his team-mates try, their attention has inevitably drifted towards events at the Rose Bowl and the Emirates Durham ICG, where third-placed Durham are chasing the win over Worcestershire that could secure them the title should Lancashire and Warwickshire slip up.
“We can’t control what’s going on elsewhere in the country,” said Moore. “But it’s very difficult. I’d be lying to say we weren’t keeping our eye on what’s going on elsewhere.
While Moore described a typically reliable Taunton surface as “lovely”, Murali Kartik and Arul Suppiah, Somerset’s spinners, found sufficient turn during a testing spell late in the day to arouse the interest of Lancashire’s own pair of slow left-armers.
Gary Keedy has already profited to the tune of 4-57 – he claimed two of the five Somerset wickets to fall today – while Simon Kerrigan’s match-winning haul of 9-51 against Hampshire on Saturday is a reminder of the threat he poses on a wearing pitch.
“With the two spinners we’ve got in our side, they’ll turn it on anything,” said Moore, who has experienced enough tense finishes during a pulsating championship campaign to know that a nerve-shredding finale to the title race is highly likely.
“Anybody who has watched us play this season will expect nothing less,” he grinned. “We wouldn’t be giving the crowd what they wanted if we don’t take it down to the last session.”