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Lancashire wrap up win on day three

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Somerset suffered a third consecutive LV= Insurance County Championship defeat as Lancashire wrapped up the win by 10 wickets on day three at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The hosts added 88 runs to their overnight second innings score of 226 for four before being bowled out for 314, a lead of only 31 runs.

There were two wickets each for Tom Bailey, George Balderson and Jack Blatherwick.

Lancashire openers George Balderson and Alex Davies took six overs to knock off the required runs and the morning session was extended slightly for the match to be completed.

The visitors took 23 points from the game to Somerset’s three.

Heavily overcast skies meant the floodlights at the Cooper Associates County Ground were employed and must have encouraged the Lancashire bowlers.

James Hildreth had added four to his overnight score of 22 when top-edged a catch to point off Bailey. Lewis Goldsworthy produced a few defiant blows before departing for 21, pinned lbw by Bailey in the eighth over of the day.

At 248 for six, Somerset still needed 35 to make Lancashire bat again. Roelof van der Merwe produced a classic cover driven boundary off George Balderson to reduce the deficit and it was down to four when the seventh wicket fell.

A slash outside off stump by van der Merwe, on 23, off Balderson saw Luke Wells hold a sharp catch at first slip.

Marchant de Lange lasted only two balls before edging Jack Blatherwick to second slip. However, Jack Brooks ensured that Somerset wouldn’t suffer an innings defeat when he edged Blatherwick through the slips for four.

Steve Davies batted solidly but he lost another partner on 301 when Brooks was bowled by Balderson for 15.

Davies was left on 22 not out when last man Ned Leonard was caught behind down the leg side off Blatherwick.

At the close of play, Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry said: “We haven’t put enough runs on the board in the first innings to put the opposition under pressure, and our performances as a team haven’t been to the standards that they were earlier in the season. Lancashire got the ball in really challenging areas more consistently than we did, and that has asked more questions of our batters.

“Now is not the time to make kneejerk decisions, it’s important that we build on some of the highlights of our second innings as we go into our next game and also next season.

“There’s no doubt that there’s room for improvement, but I believe in our players and I believe in our staff. What we need to do is keep believing and take some confidence from the things that we’ve done well in this game.”

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