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Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Lancashire Group 3 2021

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Pace bowler’s maiden five-for secures victory in dying embers of the day

Lancashire509 for 9 dec (Bohannon 127*, Jennings 114, Lamb 61, Wells 60, Davies 52) beat Yorkshire 159 (Duke 52, Bailey 3-6) and 271 (Brook 52, Mahmood 5-49) by an innings and 79 runs

It is rather too easy when thinking about Roses matches to forget the simple reality of the present. Saqib Mahmood‘s one thought when he ran in to bowl the balls that dismissed Jordan Thompson and Ben Coad deep on a glorious Sunday evening was to remove the obstacles to his side’s victory. He probably had no idea it had been a decade since Lancashire had last won the Roses match and certainly had no clue that it was 49 years since his club had won this match by an innings at Emirates Old Trafford. As for James Heap, who the hell was he?
But a similarly laudable tunnel vision will have informed Matt Parkinson‘s actions a few moments later when his legspinner was edged by Dom Bess to Liam Livingstone at slip, thus beginning the riotous celebrations that followed one of the great days in the history of this game, a day in which Yorkshire’s defiance had played an absolutely essential part and which is now ending peacefully with Lancashire’s players and coaching staff lying on the outfield drinking beers. Mahmood will not be drinking alcohol but he will be reflecting contentedly on a day when he had taken his maiden five-wicket haul in a first-class match. Relaxation must be sweet, indeed on such evenings. “It’s possibly the best feeling I’ve had on a cricket field,” he had told the press an hour or so earlier.

But this was Yorkshire’s day, too, although it will be years before they acknowledge the fact. Six of their batsmen had survived for 99 minutes or longer in their second innings and Bess had batted three hours and 35 minutes for his 46 runs. It is hardly a speculative effort of the imagination to suggest that Lancashire’s fielders had reminded him he was no longer in England’s Test team. But he had gutsed it out and three overs earlier it had looked as though Old Trafford’s sun would shine on his and Yorkshire’s righteousness. Then Mahmood, who already had three wickets to his name, snared Thompson, caught behind by Dane Vilas for 14. Next over, an agonised Coad saw Alex Wharf’s finger go up, adjudging he, too, had edged the ball to Lancashire’s captain. A few minutes later Parkinson bowled to Bess. There were 41 balls left in the match…

By the time there were 40 (or, indeed, none) Parkinson was being engulfed by his colleagues and Yorkshire’s last pair were standing in statuesque misery. Fair enough on both counts. The legspinner’s three wickets for 61 runs from 41.2 overs had played a vital role in the result. But this was still Mahmood’s day. Lancashire’s spearhead currently looks like one of the best fast bowlers in the country and he is certainly playing in one of the finest county sides. The in-ducker that removed Will Fraine’s middle stump in the fifth over of the morning and the ball that straightened to knock out Steve Patterson’s off pole ten minutes later were models of the fast bowler’s ferocious art.

But the rest of the morning session was dominated by the quiescent resolution of the two Old Sedberghians, George Hill and Harry Brook, who successfully resisted Lancashire’s attack for some 26 overs, albeit Parkinson got nothing like the turn he had enjoyed on Saturday evening. And mention of Hill and Brook’s school is neither to extol nor condemn privilege; it merely makes the point that if you learn your cricket on very good pitches and are helped by top-quality coaches, it improves your chances of succeeding in the professional game.

The new ball was needed to separate the pair but it did the trick almost immediately. Vilas wisely chose to take it as soon as it became available and Tom Bailey’s third delivery found the narrowest of gaps between Hill’s bat and pad. All the same it was nearly an hour later before Parkinson had Brook leg before wicket for 52 when the ball hit him full on the front boot. It had long been clear to Lancashire’s bowlers that they would need to take the long route to victory and grab every opportunity that came their way. It seemed particularly galling, therefore, when Livingstone, put down a slip catch off Bess when the Yorkshire allrounder was 17 and there were still 45 overs left in the game.

At the other end was Harry Duke batting as if continuing the innings he played on Thursday: defending the good balls, avoiding the wide ones and not giving a twopenny damn that it took him 39 balls and 49 minutes to score his first run. Whatever else emerges from this match Andrew Gale and the Yorkshire coaches can at least be encouraged with the way Brook and Duke conducted themselves on this final day.

Yorkshire took tea with their score reading 208 for 6 and many thought the balance of the day was shifting in their favour. But nine overs after the resumption Duke made perhaps his first plain error when he let a ball from Luke Wood go and watched in horror as it hit his off stump. Once again the misery of the moment was visited upon a young player; even the memory of his first-innings fifty may have receded. As for the sepia-tinged history of this game, what had that to do with him? And as for James Heap…

In time, perhaps, Duke will come to understand. For the moment he can be assured that he has already honoured his profession.

But you probably need to be one of Old Trafford’s kindly old archivists to know much about Heap. He was a Lancashire slow left-armer who took 11 for 39 to help his side beat Yorkshire by an innings and three runs in 1913. On the other hand it requires no more than a passing interest in the Red Rose to be familiar with Jack Simmons, offspinner, folk-hero, trencherman, who bagged 10 for 84 when Lancashire defeated Yorkshire by an innings and 34 in 1972. (Simmons himself may point out that Clive Lloyd’s 181 also played a part in the victory.)

Until today, those games in 1913 and 1972 were the only occasions in the last 108 years when Lancashire have beaten Yorkshire by an innings at Old Trafford. Now there is a third match to go with them. Vilas and his players have become history boys, not that such things concern them this evening, for they are still sitting on the outfield, enjoying a beer and chatting quietly. Among them is Bess, recently an opponent but now someone altogether gentler. He is chatting with Mahmood and Parkinson. They have this summer and many more ahead of them.

Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and other publications



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Recent Match Report – Notts vs Essex Group 1 2021

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Brett Hutton bags five before bad light, rain intervene leaving Essex likely to rely on favours to progress

Nottinghamshire 293 (Clarke 67, Mullaney 55, James 54, Harmer 4-71) and 44 for 2 (Slater 19*) drew with Essex 210 (Westley 71, Hutton 5-65)

Essex’s hopes of defending the LV= Insurance County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy took a massive hit as they drew with Nottinghamshire at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford.

Notts fast bowler Brett Hutton, on just his second outing of the season, took 5 for 65, including his 200th first-class wicket to bowl Essex out for 210 – and give Notts an 83-run first-innings lead.

Ben Slater killed off any potential drama by reaching 19 before bad light, and subsequently rain, ended play at 2.20pm, with the match officially abandoned at 3pm.

The stalemate does Essex no help in their attempt to reach Division One- with favours likely needed from elsewhere to stop one of Warwickshire, Durham and Notts from progressing.

The top four in Group 1 are now separated by only nine points, although Essex have played a game more than their rivals.

Hopes for a positive result had all but been kiboshed by a washed-out second day, along with a pitch which had made scoring slow.

Notts needed 10 morning overs to wrap up the Essex first innings, with both sides picking up a bonus point – the former for taking nine wickets and the latter for sliding past 200.

After the second new ball was taken an over into the day, Shane Snater and Simon Harmer’s eighth-wicket partnership reached exactly 50 before both fell in consecutive overs.

First, Snater was adjudged leg-before to Hutton, and then Harmer was pinned in front by Luke Fletcher – the burly seamer’s 38th wicket of an impressive campaign.

The innings concluded as Hutton made Sam Cook’s off stump go kerplunk to complete his five-wicket haul, the 10th of his career.

In reply, the visitors had no need nor intention to take any risks as they reached 44 for 2 before umpires Ian Blackwell and Neil Mallender ended proceedings.

Peter Siddle provided a probing spell with the new ball and was rewarded with the edge to first slip of Ben Compton.

Ben Duckett was bowled around his legs by Snater, having eaten up 50 minutes, with Slater holding things together for an unbeaten 87-ball 19.



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Recent Match Report – Lightning vs Thunder 2021

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Kirstie Gordon finishes the job as Thunder are rumbled by 134 runs

Lightning 259 for 5 (Beaumont 89, K. Bryce 74) beat Thunder 125 (Lamb 42, Gordon 4-23) by 134 runs

Half-centuries for Tammy Beaumont and Kathryn Bryce and four wickets for spinner Kirstie Gordon ensured Lightning posted their first victory in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy after a one-sided clash with North West Thunder at Chester Boughton Hall.

Beaumont confirmed her status as one of the finest batters around with a chanceless 89 before Bryce’s 74 took Lightning to a daunting total of 259 for 5 off their 50 overs. Gordon then claimed 4 for 23 as Thunder slumped to 125 all out with Katie Higham’s 3 for 10 also contributing to the 134-run win.

Earlier, Beaumont had begun the day in confident fashion in sharp contrast to her opening partner, Sarah Bryce, who took until the eighth over to get off the mark.

But once the pair got into stride the runs came easily with both Kate Cross and Piepa Cleary struggling to make an impact as the stand advanced to 74 before Bryce hit Alex Hartley straight to Nat Brown at mid-off for 24.

Kathryn Bryce replaced her sister at the crease and with Beaumont continuing to show her class, 98 runs were added for the second wicket until the World Cup winner fell 11 short of a deserved century after Hartley took a superb tumbling catch off Sophie Ecclestone.

England spinner Ecclestone was proving the one thorn in Lightning’s side and she picked up a second victim by bowling Abigail Freeborn for 0.



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NZ vs England 2021 – Trent Boult in line to play second Test after relaxed quarantine in UK

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Boult is out of isolation “three or four days earlier than expected,” coach Gary Stead says

Trent Boult is firming as a chance to play the second Test against England at Edgbaston starting June 10, having previously only been inked in for the World Test Championship final against India.

Boult joined the New Zealand squad late last week having opted to return home after the aborted IPL rather than head straight to the UK.

Before the opening Test, coach Gary Stead indicated the turnaround for Edgbaston would be too tight for Boult but updated quarantine protocols have allowed him to train immediately after arriving which has advanced his preparations by a few days. While a final decision on whether he plays on Thursday will not be taken for a couple more days it would now be a surprise if he did not line up.
“There’s a chance, there are a few things that have changed,” Stead said after the drawn first Test. “The British government has relaxed their quarantine stipulations so Trent is out of isolation three or four days earlier than expected.

“The original plan we had in place with all the information we had at the time was we weren’t going to play him in the second Test, but coming out of that isolation probably three days earlier than what we originally anticipated does put a slightly different spin on it. So we’ll weigh up the pros and cons and work out with Trent what we think is the best course forward to make sure he is fit and raring to go for that final.

“Trent is more keen than he was a week ago and that’s because he’s over here now, he’s part of the environment. Probably right now it’s a bit early to make that call, he’s only been here 48 hours and probably still suffering a little bit of jet lag.”

If Boult was available for Edgbaston somebody would have to make way from the attack that featured at Lord’s and had England under pressure almost throughout. It could present the chance to manage the workloads of Tim Southee (42.1 overs at Lord’s), Kyle Jamieson (41 overs) or Neil Wagner (40 overs) ahead of the WTC final against India with Southee perhaps the frontrunner to be rotated.

“We have to manage all the bowlers,” Stead said. “Haven’t had that conversation yet with Tim. He bowled really well, he’s a work horse and loves the hard work. Again, a conversation we’ll have with our support staff in the morning to see where everyone is at and scrub up before we make that firm decision.”

Mitchell Santner was hampered in the second innings by the finger he injured during the build-up in Southampton. Though he went wicketless in the Test (he should have had Rory Burns stumped on the fourth day) Stead was pleased with how he bowled and sees a spinner as having a continued role to play. Ajaz Patel and the uncapped Rachin Ravindra are the other spin options in the squad.

“Mitch got the scab knocked off where it’s been heeling…another one we’ll talk through tomorrow,” Stead said. “I thought Mitch bowled really well, that first innings in particular, and could easily have picked up two or three wickets, cleaned them up 50-60 runs earlier. If that had been the case the game might have looked different.

“It’s hard when you look at a five-day game to not consider a spinner. At various times it’s always good to have those different options. The pitches here provide us a with a slightly different outlook to what they do in New Zealand.”

Overall, Stead was delighted with his team’s performance at Lord’s in what was their first Test since January. “We set the pace, we were confident enough to leave England a chase on the last day and throw the option to them about whether they were prepared to take that carrot or not. Takes a confident team to do that, so said to the boys I was really proud the way we were prepared to do that.”



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