LV= Insurance County Championship - 21 April

Lancashire win

Venue: Emirates Old Trafford

Lancashire v Gloucestershire

Day Four

Lancashire wrapped up a second consecutive victory in the LV=County Championship Division One by an innings and 57 runs despite some brilliant resistance from a determined Gloucestershire side at Emirates Old Trafford.

Resuming on 67 for three, the visitors faced the unenviable task of seeing off a Red Rose attack full of international class with James Anderson, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson all keen to prove their credentials to England’s new look regime.

But it took until just before 6pm on the final day for Lancashire to seal the victory as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 247, with just 23 balls remaining, still 57 runs short of the host’s mammoth first innings total of 556 for seven.

Earlier in the day, the visitor’s resistance had lasted around an hour before Parkinson’s leg breaks made the difference in just his third over as he got one to turn and edge skipper Graeme van Buuren’s bat on its way to Luke Wells at slip.

With their leader departing for 15 it would have been easy for Gloucestershire to crumble and that looked like exactly what would happen when Ryan Higgins was immediately dismissed first ball by a Parkinson beauty which turned from leg and clipped the top of off stump to leave them 85 for five.

 115 for five at lunch became 122 for six soon after the interval when the previously redoubtable Miles Hammond, who had compiled 50 from 154 balls, was adjudged lbw to hand the returning Anderson his second wicket of the match.

Zafar Gohar was then cleaned bowled by Parkinson for three to leave Gloucestershire staring into the abyss at 127 for seven and the Bolton-born leg spinner seemingly on a role as he looked to stake his claim for an England Test cap this summer.

But as Lancashire found out at Kent the previous week, victories seldom come easy in this division, and Gloucestershire found some much-needed fight in the form of Tom Lace and Josh Shaw.

Lace reached his half-century from 130 balls and the eighth wicket pair had put on 79 when Hassan Ali entered the contest in typically flamboyant fashion as he conjured up a follow up to his stump splitting exploits the day previously.

Shaw, who had reached 29 with a clever poke through the slip cordon, seemed to provoke the Pakistani paceman into bowling two bouncers accompanied by a chorus of verbals before the third ball ripped into Shaw’s off stump to thrilling affect.

Lancashire must have felt like the eighth wicket was the catalyst for victory but they reckoned without Lace and the incoming Jared Warner. By 5pm the pair had batted for 21 overs with barely an attacking shot between them save for a mistimed cut from Lace that was shelled by Steven Croft at second slip off Mahmood.

Lace’s determined vigil finally ended with a little over 30 minutes of play left with the bizarre sight of umpire Richard Illingworth forced to raise his finger despite the batsman’s leg bail being dislodged somehow by a wicked delivery from Mahmood that hit the top of off stump.

Lace faced 201 balls for his 71 and along with Warner brought Gloucestershire to within sight of the finish line. But it was not to be. With just 23 balls remaining, the brilliant Hassan, who finished with match figures of nine for 96 on his home debut, enticed Warner, who had faced 119 balls for his 10 runs, to edge one to wicket keeper Phil Salt to spark the celebrations.

Day Three

Josh Bohannon scored a double century and James Anderson took his first wicket of the season for Lancashire against Gloucestershire at Emirates Old Trafford.

With the hosts declaring at tea on the third day on 556 for seven, this LV=Insurance County Championship Division One clash looks to be heading only one way after the visitors were reduced to 67 for three at the close still trailing by 237 runs going into the final day.

Resuming on 289 for three, Bohannon and his skipper, Dane Vilas, simply began where they left off the previous evening as they milked an increasingly ragged Gloucestershire bowling attack throughout the morning.

Vilas’ tireless running between the wickets kept the visitors firmly under pressure as the South African reached his half century off 51 balls before the slightly more guarded Bohannon reached his 150 from 328 balls.

The fourth wicket partnership continued to grow until Bohannon, having beaten his previous highest first class score of 174, reached his double century just before lunch quickly followed by Vilas registering his 24th first class century on the stroke of 1pm.

At the interval the quirky statistic that no wickets had fallen in each of the three uninterrupted morning sessions meant little to Gloucestershire who were still ruing and paying for their alarming capitulation on day one after a good start.

The partnership had just ticked past 200 when Vilas, looking to increase the run rate, toe-ended a Josh Shaw delivery straight to Miles Hammond at cover point to depart for 109.

Phil Salt joined Bohannon at the crease and breezed his way to 21 before he danced down the track to Zafar Gohar and was stumped by a grateful James Bracey.

The wicket provided at least some reward for the determined slow left armer who continued to bowl a nagging leg stump line throughout a mammoth spell that saw him send down 65 overs by the time he left the field having finished with four for 135 with Hassan his final wicket.

Bohannon’s mammoth innings finally ended on 231 when he mistimed a sweep shot off Graeme van Buuren and gloved one up in the air for Bracey to scamper to his left and claim.

The Bolton-born batter faced 467 balls and batted for 553 minutes in compiling a knock that will be certain to have made the England selectors ponder his attributes more closely.

Both Danny Lamb and Saqib Mahmood then enjoyed themselves before tea hitting four sixes between them and putting on an unbeaten 55 for the eighth wicket until Vilas called a halt to proceedings with Lancashire leading by 304.

A rusty looking Anderson had played second fiddle to Hassan during Gloucestershire’s first innings but he took the new ball and looked somewhere close to his best in an opening spell that saw him claim Australian Marcus Harris for seven with a steeply rising delivery that was edged through to Salt.

Mahmood, who could well be joining Anderson in the England Test attack after an impressive debut in the West Indies, was causing problems of his own and he accounted for Chris Dent whose loose cut shot to Salt was not what was called for by Gloucestershire as they teetered on 36 for two.

Meanwhile Hammond was standing firm and had hit five boundaries to prompt a recovery of sorts which was brought to a swift and brutal end by a wonderful Hassan yorker which left a bemused Bracey walking off on 14 and the Pakistani paceman cradling a broken stump such was the delivery’s velocity.

Hammond, unbeaten on 24, and van Buuren, on two not out, saw things through to the close but with seven wickets needed to claim victory Lancashire’s attack will be confident a second win of the season is within grasp.



Day Two

Lancashire’s Josh Bohannon scored his fourth first class century as the Red Rose took control of a keenly contested second day at Emirates Old Trafford against Gloucestershire.

The hosts closed on 289 for three on a day when just two wickets fell in stark contrast to the 12 dismissals on day one of this LV=Insurance County Championship Division One clash with Lancashire going into day three with a handy 37 run lead.

England hopeful Bohannon finished unbeaten on 142 alongside his skipper Dave Vilas who made 39 not as the pair put on 55 unbeaten runs for the fourth wicket after Luke Wells had earlier made a well-constructed 59.

For Bolton-born Bohannon the innings was the latest on a CV which is surely making the England selectors sit up and take notice following the 25-year-old’s breakthrough season last year when he was named Lancashire’s Player of the Year after topping his side’s run scoring charts in red ball cricket.

The day had started with Lancashire on 11 for one with Gloucestershire buoyed by the late dismissal via a run out of George Balderson the previous evening.

But any hope the visitors could build on that breakthrough was soon extinguished by Wells and Bohannon who scored briskly throughout the morning to add 92 unbeaten runs to the overnight score by lunch with the former bring up his half century just before the break.

Gloucestershire, who announced the signing of Pakistani paceman Mohammad Amir at lunch, needed to tighten things up when play resumed and they did so thanks to the accurate bowling of Ryan Higgins and the left arm spin of Zafar Gohar.

Wells was the first to fall to the increased purpose from the visitor’s attack when he was trapped in front playing back to a sharply turning delivery from Zafar for 59 to end a second wicket partnership of 106 runs.

The dismissal brought Steven Croft to the crease, fresh from his century in Lancashire’s opening win against Kent, and the former Lancashire captain proved a useful partner for Bohannon as they slowly weathered Gloucestershire’s efforts before upping the scoring rate as the afternoon progressed.

Bohannon reached his century with a leg glance to the boundary off his 213th ball and Lancashire will look forward to a similar return to last season’s efforts which brought the batter 853 runs at an impressive average of 53.31.

The third wicket pair batted beyond tea and had amassed a partnership of 117 when Croft brought out his sweep once too often on 34 and Zafar, the pick of the Gloucestershire attack with two for 65, was rewarded as the stumps were broken by a fine delivery.

Another of Lancashire’s recent century makers, Vilas, then entered proceedings and together with Bohannon, the pair saw things through to the end, reaching an unbeaten 50 partnership without alarm just before the close of play.



Day One

A promising start by Gloucestershire's opening batters Marcus Harris and Chris Dent ended in disappointment after Dale Benkenstein's side slipped from 119/0 to 252 all out on day one of their County Championship Division One game at Emirates Old Trafford against Lancashire.

At the close, Lancashire were 11 for one after the visitors were dismissed for 252, having chosen to bat, which will no doubt disappoint captain Graeme van Buuren who having won the toss, saw his team go into lunch at 101 unbeaten and hopeful of building a competitive total.

But a calamitous middle session, during which they lost six wickets for just 69 runs, proved decisive as the visiting batters struggled to deal with the accuracy of Pakistani international Hassan Ali who finished with excellent figures of six for 47.

39-year-old Anderson, playing his first competitive cricket since the fourth Ashes Test in January this year, took the new ball alongside Hassan, but looked understandably rusty as Chris Dent and Marcus Harris began the innings in confident fashion.

A change of ends did little to improve Anderson’s fortunes as a chanceless session ended with the introduction of Matt Parkinson who was immediately hoisted into the stands in his first over by Harris.

After lunch the Australian Test opener would get a life on 46 when he was dropped by Luke Wells at first slip off Hassan, but it was Dent who would kick start proceedings for Lancashire when he was caught by Steven Croft at second slip off Hassan for 52.

At 119 for one there looked to be no cause for alarm until Harris departed caught down the leg side off Mahmood for a well-made 67, quickly followed by the in-form James Bracey, who was clean bowled by George Balderson for five with the kind of delivery he was probably expecting from Anderson.

Van Buuren joined the procession, handing another wicket to Mahmood with a leg side catch to Phil Salt for four, before Hassan returned to claim two victims in two balls as Miles Hammond edged to Salt on nine, followed by Tom Lace, who was trapped in front first delivery attempting to play to leg.

From 150 for six, Ryan Higgins and Zafar Gohar staged a recovery with the seventh pair seeing off Anderson’s third spell while milking the inconsistent Danny Lamb for a number of boundaries.

The day’s other England-related subplot, apart from Anderson, probably concerned Parkinson, with the leg spinner’s seven wickets in Lancashire’s win over Kent increasing the clamour for him to be selected in the Test team by the national side’s new regime.

And it was Parkinson who would make the crucial breakthrough in the 79th over of the day when he tempted Zafar down the track for a stumping from Salt that ended a seventh wicket partnership of 65 and saw the Pakistani depart for 27.

Hassan, who is enjoying his arrival in county cricket, took his fourth wicket when Josh Shaw chopped on for 18 and followed quickly with his fifth when Jared Warner was well caught at third slip by Lamb without scoring.

There would be no more spells for Anderson, who finished with figures of 0 for 30 from 16 overs, with Hassan wrapping things up soon afterwards when Ajeet Dale drove loosely to Josh Bohannon at point for four to leave Higgins unbeaten on 51.

Balderson and Wells looked to have safely negotiated a tricky spell of six overs until the former set off for a run that wasn’t there and was left stranded on five as Zafar threw down the stumps to leave the Red Rose 11 for one at the close.