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Match report: Lancs v Middx in NCL 2003
by Neil Adams


Scorecard:Lancashire v Middlesex

Summary

Lancashire completed their ninth straight victory, and their third under lights batting second, to move back to the top of the NCL division two table. In front of 7,500 spectators, the home side scored an incredible 281 runs from just 43.3 overs to beat Middlesex - easily the highest score by a team batting second under lights at Old Trafford. Once again, Hegg lost the toss and found his team being asked to field first. Andrew Strauss and Ed Joyce scored runs at will during the middle/late phase of the visitors innings - the crowd fell silent, only the occasional burst of music or a solitary firework could be heard. Lancashire required an improbable 279 runs from 45 overs to eliminate Middlesex from the title race. Suddenly, boundaries were greeted by huge cheers, and the target seemed strangely feasible. Requiring 57 runs from 54 balls and with 7 wickets in hand, Lancashire ensured there was no repetition of the defeat suffered at Worcester courtesy of Hooper and Chilton. Another thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining night under the lights at Old Trafford and yet another victory - what a super habit!

 

Bowling Performance of the Day

Without doubt, this was the most easy paced one-day wicket produced at Old Trafford for some considerable time. Bowling was never easy. Anything pitched short or wide was despatched to the boundary with ease. With the exception of Peter Martin 2 for 34, and Chad Keegan 0 for 33, every other bowler conceded in excess of 4.8 runs per over (Some over 7!). Both Hogg and Martin claimed two wickets a piece, which made it all the more baffling why neither completed a full spell of bowling on a night when Hegg tried seven different bowlers to contain the flow of runs

 

Batting Performance of the Day

Everyone contributed. Lancashire were set 6.2 runs per over from the outset and all but maintained this pace throughout the innings. The run rate never increased over 7 an over at any stage, and Lancashire generally remained in front of Middlesex's score over by over. Stuart Law scored 78 runs from just 79 balls including 5 x 4 & 3 x 6. Iain Sutcliffe scored his first NCL fifty of the season from just 55 balls (11 x 4). The pair added 155 for the second wicket and built a super foundation for the innings. Carl Hooper never looked flustered at the crease during the final 10 overs. He was equally as happy accepting singles as he was smashing boundaries. He did survive one life with Lancashire still a considerable distance from their target (See contentious discussion point 2 below). Mark Chilton played a very rare attacking one day innings to support Hooper in an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 92 which steered Lancashire to victory with an incredible 9 balls still remaining!

 

Fielding Performance of the Day

In all honesty, this was probably Lancashire's worst day in the field all season. Although the players did not miss any catches, they committed endless silly mis-fields which cost many runs. Peter Martin missed an easy run out opportunity late in Middlesex's innings when he threw the ball to the wrong end of the wicket with Strauss stranded in the middle of the wicket. It should also be noted that Middlesex fielded equally as poorly (Strauss excepted). The visitors also conceded needless runs by regularly fumbling the ball. They also conceded 19 wides, which included 3 x 5 wides due to poor bowling and suspect wicket keeping. Glen Chapple held 2 catches to remove Strauss and Joyce, and Iain Sutcliffe could not believe his luck when Shah topped edged the ball straight to him at third man

 

Highlights of the Day

  • Gaining back the first spot in the table and all but mathematically eliminating Middlesex from the promotion race as far as Lancashire are concerned - Lancashire only require 4 points to be officially promoted to division one
  • The brilliant partnership between Law and Sutcliffe which set up Lancashire's victory
  • Nine victories in a row - no one could have anticipated that following the defeat against Scotland
  • The huge crowd - 7500 - no other team seems to attract such large crowds for day/night cricket

 

Lowlights of the Day

  • Lancashire's generally low standard of fielding
  • Not bowling either Kyle Hogg or Peter Martin for 9 overs
  • The unnecessary delayed due to the 30-yard discs being "stolen" during the interval - when will the club learn to control the crowd (see next point)
  • The endless children which were allowed to run onto the field of play to gain a player signature during the match - where were the stewards?
  • John Wood's final figures of 0 for 68 from 9 overs - never mind John you were due a bad game following your recent high quality performances in both the one day and four day game
  • Stuart Law's dismissal (See below)

 

Contentious Discussion Points of the Day

  • Once again, Stuart Law was not out leg before wicket - umpires must have it in for Stuart following his dismissal at Sussex in the championship
  • If the Sky television cameras had not been present, one wonders what would have happened to Carl Hooper following his stroke to the deep mid-wicket boundary which saw the Lancastrian caught, and then the ball was carried over the rope. The fielder claimed to have threw the ball back into the field of play before crossing the rope. Thankfully, the replay showed that the ball was still in contact with the player as he travelled across the rope and the umpire signalled six (rather than one!)

 

Key Notes of the Day

  • Middlesex won the toss and elected to bat
  • Weekes caught Hegg bowled Martin 10 - 30 for 1 in the 7th over - Strauss 20*
  • 51 for 1 in the 11th over - Strauss 30* Shah 10*
  • Shah caught Sutcliffe bowled Hogg 23 - 68 for 2 in the 14th over - Strauss 34*
  • 50 Strauss from 51 balls (8 x 4) - 92 for 2 in the 20th over - Joyce 7*
  • 100 for 2 in the 22nd over - Strauss 53* Joyce 12*
  • 50 partnership - 121 for 2 in the 25th over - Strauss 67* Joyce 18*
  • 150 for 2 in the 30th over - Strauss 89* Joyce 25*
  • 100 partnership - 168 for 2 in the 32nd over - Strauss 95* Joyce 37*
  • 100 Strauss from 89 balls (14 x 4) - 181 for 2 in the 33rd over - Joyce 44*
  • 50 Joyce from 61 balls (4 x 4 & 1 x 6) - 197 for 2 in the 34th over - Strauss 103*
  • 200 for 2 in the 35th over - Strauss 104* Joyce 54*
  • 150 partnership - 218 for 2 in the 38th over
  • Joyce caught Chapple bowled Hogg 70 - 225 for 3 in the 39th over - Strauss 110*
  • 252 for 3 in the 41st over - Strauss 120* Dalrymple 11*
  • Strauss caught Chapple bowled Martin 127 - 269 for 4 in the 44th over - Dalrymple 21*
  • Middlesex 278 for 4 from 45 overs - Dalrymple 25* Hutton 5*
  • Lancashire require 279 from 45 overs @ 6.2 runs per over
  • Loye caught Weekes bowled Bloomfield 14 - 15 for 1 in the 4th over - Sutcliffe 1*
  • 52 for 1 in the 10th over - Sutcliffe 24* Law 14*
  • 50 partnership - 65 for 1 in the 12th over - Sutcliffe 32* Law 22*
  • 100 for 1 in the 17th over - Sutcliffe 45* Law 39*
  • 100 partnership - 116 for 1 in the 19th over - Sutcliffe 49* Law 45*
  • 50 Law from 49 balls (5 x 4 & 1 x 6) - 124 for 1 in the 20th over
  • 50 Sutcliffe from 55 balls (9 x 4) - 129 for 1 in the 21st over- Law 56*
  • 151 for 1 in the 25th over - Sutcliffe 59* Law 71*
  • 150 partnership - 165 for 1 in the 28th over - Sutcliffe 63* Law 78*
  • Law lbw bowled Weekes 78 - 170 for 2 in the 28th over - Sutcliffe 65*
  • Sutcliffe bowled Weekes 71 - 189 for 3 in the 31st over - Hooper 5*
  • 202 for 3 in the 34th over (Hooper six carried over by fielder) - Hooper 14* Chilton 3*
  • 50 partnership - 239 for 3 in the 39th over - Hooper 29* Chilton 23*
  • 252 for 3 in the 40th over - Hooper 34* Chilton 31*
  • 50 Hooper from 48 balls (5 x 4 & 1 x 6) - 273 for 3 in the 43rd over - Chilton 35*
  • 281 for 3 in the 44th over - Hooper 51* Chilton 43*
  • Lancashire 4 points beat Middlesex 0 points by 7 wickets

 

Man of the Match

A tough match for the bowlers on such a friendly surface. With so many runs required batting second under lights the batsmen still need to perform well - so my man of the match was Stuart Law - just! ahead of Sutcliffe. Hooper and Martin

 


(Article: Copyright © 2004 Neil Adams http://www.cricketimages.co.uk/adams-report/intro.html)

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