Stephen Parry’s first five-wicket haul in the County Championship and a timely knock from England opener Haseeb Hameed helped Lancashire to wrap up and eight-wicket win over title holders Middlesex at Southport and earn the praises of head coacyh Glen Chapple.
This was a fine performance from Lancashire, who shrugged off their Roses drubbing at Headingley to inflict a first Championship defeat on the visitors since September 2015 – a run of 21 games – in what was effectively a three-day affair after Saturday’s washout.
Hameed, who has been in awful form for his county, scored a patient 38 unbeaten from 81 balls as Lancashire passed their target of 108 with a flourish thanks to straight six from skipper Steven Croft, who finished not out on 34.
Chapple said: “We faced a challenge after Yorkshire and I think we’ve come through that brilliantly.
“The lads have put in a great team performance and defeated a team that haven’t been beatenfor nearly two years.
“Your first loss of the season is always a mental challenge, but we’ve been playing good cricket this season and it’s always nice to come back from a loss with a performance like that.”
Faced with the modest total, Lancashire lost their first wicket in the final over before lunch, when wicketkeeper Alex Davies edged Toby Roland Jones to fellow gloveman John Simpson for 13.
Following the interval Liam Livingstone joined Hameed for an energetic 22 before a three-ball sequence saw him dropped at second slip by James Franklin, hit on the gloves by Roland Jones before edging one behind.
The day had started with Middlesex holding a slender 2-run lead with four wickets in hand, but that became three when James Harris edged a steepling delivery from Ryan McLaren to Davies for 19.
Davies soon had another victim asn Dawid Malan’s resistance ended following a battling 52 as he got another good one from McLaren.
That left Middlesex on 180-8 and staring down the barrel but Tim Murtagh and Roland Jones bludgeoned their way to a 49 partnership before Murtagh was stumped off the bowling of Parry for 27.
Parry picked up his fifth wicket, with Roland Jones out lbw for 31 off 32 balls.
Chapple added: “Ryan McLaren is looking really solid with the bat and hits great lengths with the ball. He’s starting to really fire for us.
“We’ve got a good lower order, so we can always extend the innings and we got a good lead on a pitch that had a bit of life in it.
“I felt the lead was potentially matchwinning but we knew it required a lot of effort because we didn’t want to chase much more than 100.
“After a win you take a lot of confidence. You have result pitches at out grounds but to beat a good team like Middlesex requires a lot of work.”