v Lancashire 09-12 Jun

Match Report Specsavers County Championship 09 June 2017




Middlesex First Innings: 180 All Out


Lancashire First Innings: 123 for 4




Fourteen wickets fell on a compelling opening day of the Specsavers County Championship clash between Lancashire and Middlesex at Southport, as the hosts took a slight advantage heading into day two.  


It was a bowlers day from start to finish, despite the fact that the near entirety of it was played under sunny skies.


Having won the toss, Middlesex skipper James Franklin wouldn’t have envisaged his side being bowled out before Tea, but six wickets in the afternoon session reduced the visitors from 143-4 to 180 all out.


When Lancashire lost their first two wickets in the first over without a run on the board, 180 began to look a good score, but Shivnarine Chanderpaul spearheaded a gritty response that has just edged Lancashire in front.


Lancashire’s 20-year-old seamer Saqib Mahmood caught the eye at the start of proceedings. Having been talked up as a talent for some time this is just his third first-class game, but he steamed in with good pace and rhythm to Middlesex’s opening pair of Sam Robson and Nick Gubbins.


Mahmood got his reward when Gubbins feathered one down the leg-side and was taken by Alex Davies for just one. Robson looked in good touch on his return from five weeks out with a hamstring injury but edged behind off Bailey for 15.


At 30-2, Middlesex were wobbling somewhat and their cause wasn’t helped when Dawid Malan took on a Bailey short ball from just his 11th delivery faced and popped it straight down the throat of Chanderpaul at fine leg.


Steve Eskinazi was also on his way before lunch, becoming the third to edge behind to Davies. The keeper was becoming a key factor in the match and ended the innings with six catches – just one short of equalling the Lancashire record for most dismissals in an innings.


He picked up his fourth catch when Paul Stirling advanced down the track to Mahmood and suffered a leg-side death one run short of his half-century. Stirling had looked confident at the crease, hitting nine boundaries and one big six.


But his dismissal at 143-4 triggered something of a collapse. Franklin chopped on to give Mahmood a third, before Jordan Clark struck twice in the 47th over to remove James Harris and Toby Roland-Jones – both caught by Davies.


John Simpson provided stout resistance to the relentless tumbling of wickets, bringing up his 50 from 79 balls but he rapidly ran out of partners. Murtagh fell to Ryan McLaren for a duck and Ravi Patel picked out Stephen Parry in the deep off Clark to end the innings in double-quick time.


Wicket-keepers were flavour of the day as Simpson swiftly joined Davies in racking up the catches, holding the first three wickets of the Lancashire innings.


The first two fell in Tim Murtagh’s opening over when Davies fell to the second ball of the innings and Liam Livingstone edged behind while advancing down the track for a golden duck. Lancashire were 0-2 and captain Steven Croft had to survive a hat-trick ball.


But survive it he did and, alongside Haseeb Hameed, began to dig in for Lancashire. The pair shared a gritty 50-partnership for the third wicket.


However, the leg-side strangle had also dominated proceedings and remarkably Hameed became the fourth batsman to suffer the most frustrating of dismissals when he feathered one through to Simpson for 18.


Croft would also fall for a well-made 31, but Lancashire’s Kolpak pairing of Chanderpaul and Dane Vilas saw them through to the close on 123-4.


No play due to unsuitable playing conditions and prolonged rain throughout the day.


Middlesex Innings: 180 a/o & 156-6

Lancashire Innings: 309 a/o


A stirring fightback from Lancashire’s tail-enders and three wickets for slow left armer Stephen Parry ensured it will be the hosts who go into the final day of this Specsavers County Championship clash with Middlesex hoping for victory.

Following Saturday’s total wash out a complete day’s play was possible with only the blustery conditions preventing this from being a perfect experience for the patient Southport spectators as Lancashire fought hard to contrive a winnable position and raise the possibility of ending Middlesex’s 21 match unbeaten run.

At the close of an extended final session Middlesex are 27  runs ahead and with only four wickets in hand to help them extend their slender lead after Lancashire compiled an unlikely total of 309 in their first innings.

Crucial to the change in momentum of the Lancashire effort was Ryan McLaren who came in to bat following the early loss of Shiv Chanderpaul who had failed to add to his overnight score of 32 when he edged Tim Murtagh to Sam Robson at first slip.

125-5 quickly became 136-6 as Dane Villas also fell to Murtagh but with Lancashire rocking a 62 run partnership for the seventh wicket between McLaren and Jordan Clark saw the Red Rose eke out a lead before James Harris trapped Clark in front for 38 with the same bowler dismissing Parry caught at second slip by Dawid Malan soon afterwards.

Tom Bailey then joined McLaren at the crease for an even more productive partnership as the pair extended the total to 291 before the South African was bowled by Murtagh, who picked up 6-63 off his 28 overs, for 75.

Bailey, determined to go down all guns blazing, hit two consecutive sixes before holing out to Stevie Eskinazi to give James Harris his fourth wicket as he reached a career best score of 58.

A lead of 129 looked incredibly useful and was made to look even better when Nick Gubbins was adjudged to have edged Saquib Mahmmod behind for one despite retrospective evidence that it had hit his arm rather than his glove. Robson and Eskinazi looked to rebuild the innings from 5-1 and they had reached 64 when the latter was beaten by a fine delivery from Parry and bowled for 42.

Seven overs later Robson joined him in the dressing room after he played a loose to shot to a wide one from McLaren and was pouched by a leaping Steven Croft at backward point. Seam and swing bowling had so far dominated the game but it was Parry, who did not even bowl in the first innings, who now began to determine the course of events.

The 30th over saw the left armer claim two wickets in four balls as Paul Stirling was trapped in front for 12 before wicket keeper John Simpson was caught at short leg by a diving Vilas for a duck to leave the Middlesex innings in tatters at 99-5 and still 30 runs in arrears.

Lancashire’s day was topped off when Mahmood bowled skipper James Franklin without scoring with an excellent yorker  to leave Malan (45no ) and Harris (15no) battling their way to 156-6 at the close.



Lancashire 309 and 111-2 bt Middlesex 180 & 236.


A first Championship five wicket haul for Stephen Parry and a timely knock  from England opener Haseeb Hameed ensured there were no major scares for Lancashire as they wrapped up an eight wicket  win against title holders Middlesex at Southport.

This was a fine performance from Lancashire who shrugged off their recent drubbing by Yorkshire to inflict a first Championship defeat on the visitors since September 2015 – a run of 21 games – in what was effectively a three day affair after Saturday’s total wash out.

Hameed, who has been in awful form for his county this season, scored a characteristically patient 38 unbeaten from 81 balls as Lancashire passed their target of 108 with a flourish thanks to straight six from skipper Steven Croft who finished not out on 34.

Faced with the modest total, Lancashire lost their first wicket in the final over before the lunch interval when wicket keeper Alex Davies  edged Toby Roland Jones to his fellow glove man John Simpson for 13.

Following the interval Liam Livingstone joined Hameed at the crease with the 23-year-old celebrating his call up to England’s squad for the three-match NatWest IT20 series against South Africa with a characteristically energetic 22 before a three-ball sequence saw him dropped at second slip by James Franklin, hit on the gloves by Roland Jones before edging one behind.

The day had started with Middlesex holding a slender 27 run lead with four wickets in hand but that became three after half hour’s play when James Harris edged a steepling delivery from Ryan McLaren to Davies for 19.

15 minutes later and Davies had another victim when Dawid Malan’s resistance ended following a battling 52 as he got another good one from McLaren.

That left Middlesex on 180-8 and staring down the barrel but Tim Murtagh and Roland Jones had other ideas as they biffed and bludgeoned their way to a 49 partnership before Murtagh was stumped off the bowling of Parry for 27.

A lead of 100 gave Middlesex a whiff of a chance if they could add another 30-40 runs but it wasn’t to be as Parry picked up his fifth wicket with Roland Jones out lbw for 31 off 32 balls.  


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