Lancashire complete ten-wicket win

Leicestershire v Lancashire, Second XI Championship, Day 2:

SCORECARD

REPORT | by Pete Johnson

Lancashire completed an emphatic Second XI Championship victory inside two days, winning by ten wickets. The Lancashire spinners took the honours in the match: Matthew Parkinson and Simon Kerrigan registering match figures of 10-95 and 8-70 respectively. 

The spin twins kept the umpires busy; of the 20 Leicestershire wickets to fall in the match 16 required a decision (11 lbw, 3 caught behind, 2 stumped). Sam Evans was the only dismissed Leicestershire batsman in the match in another manner.

Rob Sayer and Callum Parkinson bowled very well for Leicestershire but were not able to pick up the number of wickets to match the haul of their opposite numbers. 

There was again a very good sprinkling of spectators around the boundary, and it was good to see ex County stalwart Jack Birkenshaw patrolling the area around the scoreboard for the second day running. Jack was proudly wearing his ECB lanyard.

Another hot - but much fresher - day greeted the players as they took to the field on day two of the SEC encounter between Leicestershire and Lancashire at downtown Desborough. 

The sheep were bleating at a tremendous rate of knots at the Farm Park End. This cacophony of sound was matched by squealing children of primary school age enjoying the Farm Park rides. If this wasn’t enough a docile donkey weighed in with an intermittent hee-haw. 

Lancashire resumed on their overnight 148-4., trailing Leicestershire by 16 runs. Brooke Guest 52*, Matthew Breetzke 7*. Lancashire had progressed to 178 when Guest (60) went lbw to Sayer, Guest having overstayed his welcome. 

Breetzke was slowly accumulating against the all spin attack of Sayer and Parkinson, but was by no means having it all his own way as runs were at a premium, the spinners taking somewhat of a stranglehold. 

County took the new ball immediately, and Richard Jones and Ben Mike both picked up a wicket. Breetzke went to his 50 (8x4) from 118 balls after 82.4 overs with the score at 226-5. In the next over Breetzke and Connor Dudley brought up their 50 partnership, when the score reached 232-5. 

Breetzke (he would be a good score at Scrabble if surnames counted) had not added to his half-century when edging a rising delivery from the pacey Mike to Sayer at first slip. Sayer took the catch so ‘matter of fact’ two-handed above his head. No ‘Flash Harry’ histrionics whatsoever, but an extremely good catch. 

Lancashire were now at 233-6 from 83.4 overs and without further addition to the score Jones bowled Dudley (28). Callum Parkinson then replaced Jones at the Farm Park End with Jacob Bailey replacing Mike at the Car Park End. 

Bailey proved a bridge too far for the Lancashire tail as he claimed two wickets in three balls. First he had Kerrigan (5) caught at slip by Sayer, and then had Toby Lester (2) lbw. This left Lancashire on 253-9 with lunch due, just what a hungry scorer doesn’t want. 

Lunch was delayed by 30 minutes or until the 10th wicket fell, whichever was the sooner. Liam Hurt and last man Matthew Parkinson stayed together for a further 21 minutes, and then Hurt (21) was bowled by Sayer, who had taken over at the Farm Park End. Lancashire all out for 271 from 100.4 overs a lead of 107 runs. 

Special mention to Sayer and Parkinson who got through over 30 overs each. Sayer returning figures of 3-49 from 30.4 overs. Parkinson, although wicketless, had economical figures of 0-56 from 31 overs. 

Both of them bowling beautifully with fine line and length, intermingled with guile and variable flight. (That’s a couple of beers in ‘the bank’ for me). Also I must mention in despatches the two young prospects who ply their trade in club cricket with Loughborough Town. Ben Mike taking 3-63 and Jacob Bailey 2-15. A fine effort from the Park Road pacemen.

There were a minimum of 57 overs remaining in the day when County set about their second innings. Ben Curran and Evans were very quick out of the blocks, posting a 50 partnership from just 45 balls, scoring freely against the Lancashire opening attack of Hurt and Lester. The pair looked comfortable, both batsmen finding the ropes effortlessly on several occasions. 

The score had progressed to 68 when Curran (33 from 35 balls) was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Lester off the bowling of Matthew Parkinson. Hurt and Lester being replaced by Parkinson and Kerrigan, who in the second innings bowled from the opposite end to which they did in the first innings (not much gets past me you know). 

Harry Swindells was promoted to number three in place of Aadil Ali who had yesterday departed to Trent Bridge. Swindells (4) became the first of seven lbw victims in the innings when he attempted to sweep Matthew Parkinson.

Evans (37) then went caught at slip by Karl Brown, again off Matthew Parkinson. Evans may feel himself a little unlucky as Brown leapt into the air, parried the ball with one hand, and then did a mini juggling act to take the catch, County on 89-3 from 24.4, Matthew Parkinson having taken the first three wickets to fall. 

Mr and Mrs Parkinson were in attendance at the match today, and they were on to a winner whichever way the game went. Their offspring are allegedly identical twins, but I don’t think Matthew is as ugly as Callum (winking emoji Parky, keep your powder dry). 

Tom Wells offered brief resistance with 21 from 34 balls and fell victim to Kerrigan, you’ve guessed it lbw. In the same over Kashif Ali (0) went in the same manner and tea was taken. County going in to the break on 113-5 from 31.5 overs. 

After tea it was a bit of a procession with the remaining five wickets falling for 29 runs. Sayer (12) lbw to Kerrigan, Callum Parkinson (13), Ben Mike (5) and Josh Blunt (0) likewise.

Last man out was Richard Jones (4); not wishing to feel the umpire was being neglected, Jones was found wanting out of his ground and George Lavelle whipped the bails off to a ball that had been given a bit of air by Matthew Parkinson. 

Leicestershire all out for 142 from 40.5 overs, a tremendous spell of bowling from Simon Kerrigan 15-7-26-6, and Matthew Parkinson 16.5-2-46-4. Lancashire requiring 36 to win with 82 minutes remaining in the day. They knocked off the runs from 10.1 overs. Karl Brown 19*, Calum Turner 10*. Lancashire winning by 10 wickets, taking 23 points to Leicestershire’s 5 points.

Sincere thanks to the splendid, helpful and amiable volunteers from Desborough Town CC. Mick, Tony, Adam and Sam for their work on the ground. Also to Elaine and Hayley for all their likewise hard work on the catering side. Elaine, I have given you one of my very own Michelin Stars, praise indeed from a culinary glutton of my standing.

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