Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford (day four of four)
Lancashire 259 & 347: Jennings 97, Livingstone 68; Cummins 4-77
Middlesex 337 & 165: Andersson 83, Bailey 5-44
Lancashire (21 pts) beat Middlesex (6 pts) by 104 runs
Tom Bailey inspired Lancashire to a 104-run victory over Middlesex in their Specsavers County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford.
Bailey took five for 44 in the Middlesex’s second innings to finish with match figures of 10 for 119.
There were also two wickets apiece for Graham Onions and Matt Parkinson. Saqib Mahmood took one wicket as the Seaxes were bowled out for 165.
Having been set a target of 270 to win the match, the visitors slipped to two for two. Nick Gubbins (1) and Max Holden (0) fell in consecutive deliveries to leave Bailey on a hat-trick.
In the next over, Middlesex were reduced to three for three as Graham Onions had Dawid Malan (0) caught by Tom Bailey at cover.
Sam Robson and Martin Andersson looked to settle down and build a partnership. They added 37 for the forth wicket before Onions trapped Robson leg before wicket for 14.
Andersson and John Simpson saw their side through to lunch with the score reading 55 for four.
Middlesex were in further trouble four balls after the interval as John Simpson (5) fell LBW to the leg-spin of Parkinson.
Andersson then reached his maiden half-century off 78 balls and provided an anchor for his team.
He and James Harris saw out the remainder of the session. The score read 126 for five at tea.
The visitors then lost their last five wickets for 29. Martin Andersson was the last man to fall as played on to Mahmood, falling for a career-best 83.
Today’s result means that Lancashire went unbeaten at home in the County Championship this season.
WHAT THEY SAID
After holding the Division Two title aloft, Lancashire captain Dane Vilas said: “It’s so good to be here in front of the members. To remain unbeaten and lift the trophy with a game to go is fantastic.
“We had a great record here this season. We haven’t lost a four day game here and only lost a few across the whole season in all formats.
“We’ve ticked the box by become Division Two champions and going up into the top division. We wanted to go up having built momentum and take a lot of confidence,” he explained
“It’s a stepping stone. When we got relegated it was the start of the process and we’ll hopefully be pushing for a title again next year.
“It’s a work in progress and there are some great teams in Division One so it’s going to be a long hard slog.
“We’ve had the luxury of having bowlers that can rest and peak at the right times. I don’t think one bowler has played seven games this season so we’ve rotated and put opposition batsmen under pressure.
“The attitude for me has been key – especially in the field. In four day cricket you field a lot but we have been superb.”
Picture credit: Barry Mitchell