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Lancashire ease past MCC

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Lancashire warmed up for the defence of their LV= County Championship Division One title via a six-wicket defeat of MCC with more than four sessions to spare in Abu Dhabi.

Having conceded a first-innings lead of 67, the Red Rose came back into contention by reducing their opponents to 81 for eight at stumps yesterday.

MCC could add only three this morning at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Glenn Chapple bowling Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Simon Kerrigan snaring Alan Richardson for figures of 4-31 and his eighth wicket of the game.

Set 152 to win, Lancashire suffered two early blows as Ian Blackwell removed Stephen Moore and Lewis Gregory bowled Karl Brown first ball in consecutive overs, the first of the day for both bowlers.

Paul Horton

Paul Horton top-scored with 58 as Lancashire chased 152 with six wickets and more than four sessions left to beat MCC in Abu Dhabi

That left them 11 for two, but opener Paul Horton and Luke Procter rebuilt with a 98-run stand spanning 28 overs.

Horton became only the second player in the match to reach a half-century, after first-innings centurion Blackwell, but fell to Moeen Ali for 58.

Procter progressed to 47 before becoming Blackwell’s second victim.

However, Lancashire required just 12 further runs, which Steven Croft knocked off alongside Tom Smith to end on 24 and seven respectively.

MCC head of cricket and team manager John Stephenson said: “If we could have just scored another 40 or 50 runs this morning we would have been bowling at Lancashire as the light was fading and I think that would have made it much more tricky for them.

“As it was they took advantage of the light, and got themselves in, but it’s that kind of nuance which teams have to take account of in floodlit first-class cricket.

“I’m delighted with how the MCC cricketers acquitted themselves. Lancashire are obviously a very strong side but all my players worked hard, had a great attitude and represented the club in a fantastic manner.

“It’s been another really valuable trial of the pink ball, particularly because the conditions were so abrasive. It’s improving all the time and we need to keep working hard to encourage more countries to run trials and give more players the opportunity to get used to the different conditions.”

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