Storm prevents thrilling finale at Aigburth
Lancashire's LV= County Championship Division One match against Somerset ended in a frustrating draw after a lunchtime thunderstorm brought a premature end to what had promised to be a fascinating final afternoon at Aigburth.
The cloudburst saturated the outfield and, despite waiting until 4:15pm to make a final inspection, umpires Neil Hartley and Nigel Llong had little option but to call off play with Somerset on 93 for three in pursuit of 279.
In the morning session the visitors made reasonable progress towards their target, adding 71 runs to their overnight score for the loss of Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth.
Trescothick, who was dropped by Paul Horton off Chapple when he had made 12 and also survived a huge appeal for a catch behind off the same bowler shortly afterwards, was eventually trapped lbw by the Lancashire skipper on 27.
Hildreth made nine off 21 balls before edging Kyle Hogg to slip, where Andrea Agathangelou marked his championship debut by taking a fine diving catch.
At that stage the game was tantalisingly poised but half an hour's torrential rain was enough to leave puddles on parts of the Liverpool outfield and end the entertainment for a good fourth-day crowd.
Both teams take six points from the game, an outcome which does little to ease Lancashire's relegation worries or boost Somerset's chances of catching Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire and Sussex at the top of the Division One table.
The result leaves Lancashire nine points clear of the relegation zone but they have played two matches more than eighth-placed Worcestershire. Chapple’s men are currently joint sixth, level on points with Surrey who have played one game more.
Somerset are fourth but will not have given up hope of winning the title for the first time in their history.