Lancashire clash peters out to draw

Lancashire's Jordan Clark celebrates the wicket of Northamptonshire's Stephen Peters.
Lancashire's Jordan Clark celebrates the wicket of Northamptonshire's Stephen Peters.
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Strong winds may prove to be the abiding memory as Lancashire’s match with Northants in the County Cricket Championship drifted into stalemate.

The home side lost just three wickets on the final day to finish on 391 for five in their second innings, thanks to hundreds for Rob Keogh and Steven Crook, with 81 for Stephen Peters.

Resuming on 42 for two, Northamptonshire hoped to end a streak of four straight defeats to their Red Rose opponents with whom they were relegated from Division One last season.

Peters and Keogh, who had been joined together at 13 for two, showed the necessary caution and solid defence required, with Lancashire’s attack keen on a third win from three.

Peters brought up his 14,000 career first-class run on the way to a third successive fifty in Championship cricket. Particularly strong on the leg side, he made a well constructed 81 before hooking Jordan Clark to Simon Kerrigan half an hour before lunch.

Keogh, with the support of Adam Rossington, had a longer stay in mind and reaching three figures in testing blustery conditions will give him heart for the campaign ahead.

Keogh celebrated with a swish of the bat, following his cover drive off Kerrigan that took him to 100 off 146 balls. Soon afterwards, the 23-year-old hooked Clark to Tom Bailey for long leg without adding to his score.

Crook followed his 91 in the first innings with a typically breezy knock second time around. Hooking anything short, he was determined to reach a maiden first-class hundred on the ground where he has played the bulk of his first class career.

The all-rounder knocked a bristling 50 off 48 balls and by the time Alviro Petersen’s medium pace was called on, he got to three figures with a push into the covers, taking 90 balls to do so.

South African Richard Levi was not called on to bat after dislocating his finger but such was the lack of intensity in the game, Lancashire’s left arm orthodox spinner Kerrigan could be seen bowling chinaman legspin in the final session.

This high scoring draw will suit both sides, with both in the promotion places and given the importance of a strong start, Lancashire and Northamptonshire will have hopes of an immediate return to Division One, even after just three games.

However, neither will want to see a return of the strong gales for which this match will be chiefly remembered.