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Recent Match Report – Notts vs Lancashire Division 1 2021

Recent Match Report - Notts vs Lancashire Division 1 2021

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Report

Ninth-wicket pair summon 118-run resistance to give Lancashire belief on gripping afternoon

Nottinghamshire 272 (Northeast 65, Duckett 59, Clarke 54; Bailey 4-48, Lamb 4-60) and 339 for 8 declared (Moores 97, James 91, Bailey 3-84) beat Lancashire 168 (Hutton 5-62, Paterson 3-39) and 341 (Balderson 77, Lamb 68*, Wells 59, Bailey 52; Paterson 4-78, Fletcher 3-103) by 102 runs

When he was looking forward to this day with a dollop of optimism which, as things turned out, was rather misplaced, a Lancashire cricketer pointed out that Nottinghamshire possessed only three front-line seamers. Fair point, perhaps, but one wonders what that player thought at just gone 5.15 when Saqib Mahmood fended a shortish ball from Brett Hutton into the hands of Ben Slater at short leg to clinch a wonderful victory and all but one of the visitors’ second-innings wickets had been taken by that trio.
Steven Mullaney will have a different perspective on matters this evening. The Nottinghamshire skipper probably knows that when you have three fast-medium bowlers of the quality of Hutton, Luke Fletcher and Dane Paterson, a fourth quickie would be under-employed. The three he currently rotates have taken his side to the top of the Division One table by 10.5 points and in 16 days’ time they may help take his team to the title. Paterson’s four wickets have earned him most plaudits but the three will hunt as a pack until after the equinox.
There are, though, two fascinating rounds of Championship cricket to be played before anything is known and this final day gave us some glorious portents as to the intensity those six Division One matches will probably contain. Only 11.5 overs remained when Mahmood was dismissed and that was testament to an extraordinary Lancastrian rearguard that threatened to secure a draw from an utterly unpromising situation. When Tom Bailey joined Danny Lamb just before 2.30 on this final afternoon Lancashire were 210 for 8 and had just lost three wickets in ten balls. Spectators were considering other plans for the evening. What happened next will be recorded with honour and regret in the Old Trafford Yearbook.

Bailey and Lamb defied Mullaney’s attack for the next 30.1 overs with a quite remarkable display of defensive defiance. Both players reached their fifties and their stand of 108 set a new ninth-wicket record for their county in matches against Nottinghamshire beating the 112-year-old mark of 87 set by Bill Huddleston and Harry Dean at Old Trafford in 1909. Then, somewhere near the point when visiting supporters were venturing onto the quicksand of hope Bailey lost his middle stump to a ball from Paterson that tailed in and kept devilishly low. Seven overs later Hutton was racing madly towards Bridgford Road after taking the final wicket and a great game was done.

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As for Lancashire, they were overpowered in many sessions of this match and there is no shame in them admitting the fact. But they are not yet out of the hunt for the title. No county is, although it would require a general collapse of Foinavon proportions to see Somerset winning the pennant. Dane Vilas’ batsmen lasted until well after the arrival of the scones and they remain a tough bunch. It is quite possible to see them beating Somerset at Taunton and Hampshire at Aigburth while other, more obvious contenders scrap amongst themselves.

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