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Five for Lewis can't prevent Lancashire win

Five second innings wickets for Lewis Gregory couldn’t prevent a Lancashire win in this Specsavers County Championship First Division match at Emirates Old Trafford as the home side won by 164 runs.

Of all the results possible after the first day of this extraordinary game, a victory for the Red Rose seemed about as likely as three consecutive Mancunian days without lengthy rain delays.  But in the end spectators got both, with stand in skipper Liam Livingstone and wicket keeper Alex Davies’ second innings centuries proving as vital as Ryan McLaren’s match figures of eight for 113 or the galvanising presence to the seam attack of James Anderson.

Lancashire began this final day with a lead of 254 runs and they had extended that to 295 by the time Gregory had dismissed the stubborn pair of McLaren for 45 and Steven Parry for 44 with Tim Groenewald accounting for Kyle Jarvis third ball for 0.

A short break for rain saw five overs lost from the day’s play but with 77 overs to reach their target, Somerset faced the new ball pair of Anderson and Jarvis with some confidence and they went into the lunch break at 29-0 off 10 overs.

Unfortunately Matt Maynard’s side found themselves on 107 for seven at tea with the 188 runs required for victory looking an unlikely task.  Anderson impressed with the ball and the selectors will have no concerns regarding his form as he removed two former England teammates in the shape of Trescothick, who edged to McLaren for 36, and wicket keeper Steven Davies, bowled for three.

Aside from England’s record wicket taker, it was Jarvis who claimed the first dismissal when he pinned Dean Elgar, a century maker in the first innings, for eight, before McLaren accounted for Somerset captain Tom Abell, James Hildreth for 43 and JoshDavey for just two in the last over before tea.

Lancashire secured the remaining wickets after the break to win the match by 164 runs.

After the match Club Captain Tom Abell said: “It was a bit of deja vu after last week I think.  Having worked so hard to get ourselves in a good position, to lose as we have done is massively disappointing.

“You look back at phases of the game which change the course and Jimmy Anderson’s spell was certainly one of them but it was always going to be tough today and there were balls which had people’s names on them unfortunately.

“It was tough batting conditions today but that doesn’t excuse the fact that we let a really good position in the game slip through our fingers which is certainly something we’ll be looking to address.

“Dean Elagar’s innings was as quality an innings in as tough conditions as you’re going to get and was backed up by the tail and that gave us a massive shout in the game.  I can’t speak highly enough about Dean’s efforts which makes it even more disappointing that we didn’t back him up.”

“You have to give credit to Liam Livingstone and Alex Davies who both played exceptionally well.  They played superbly and didn’t give us too many chances.”

Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “Of course this isn’t the start to the season that we wanted but it has happened and we cant dwell on it.  We always knew that it was going to be hard batting today and Lancashire bowled well and hit good areas and a couple of the balls were unplayable.

“We couldn’t get those important partnerships together which has been a slight issue in both games.  However we have got a bit of a break and time to re-group before we start again with the red ball in about a months time or so.
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