Lancashire make bid for runners-up spot

Lancashire's final match
Lancashire's final match
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Saqib Mahmood took a career-best four for 50 as Lancashire had the better of the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Surrey at Old Trafford.

With Surrey beginning the contest three points ahead of third-placed Lancashire, a win for either side would secure a runners-up finish in Division One.

Surrey lost eight wickets before choosing to declare having reached 201 for eight and their first batting point thanks to a half-century from Sam Curran. Lancashire negotiated the remaining nine overs and will resume on 17 without loss.

The visitors decided not to exercise their right to opt to bowl and the toss was won by Lancashire, who did choose to do so, therefore giving both captains the outcome they wanted.

There were a couple of early chances for the hosts as Tom Bailey forced Rory Burns into drives that Dane Vilas and Rob Jones got hands to high above their heads but couldn't hold.

Burns and Mark Stoneman, the Championship's third and second highest runs-scorers respectively, shared 47 for the opening wicket before Burns chipped Mahmood to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-on to depart for 18.

Lancashire struck again before lunch, with Matt Parkinson producing a superb delivery that spun back at Stoneman and crashed into his stumps.

That brought Kumar Sangakkara to the crease in his last first-class game and he was welcomed with a guard of honour by Lancashire's players.

It was a frenetic innings from the Sri Lankan great, who has made eight Championship centuries this season. Having launched Stephen Parry for six before lunch, he fell for the short-ball trap - hooking a bouncer from Mahmood to Jones in the deep having made 14.

Lancashire struck twice more before an early tea was called. Mahmood, playing in just his fourth first-class game, nipped one back at Scott Borthwick to trap the left-hander lbw for 30.

Parry then ripped one past the outside edge of Ben Foakes' bat with what turned out to be the final ball before tea.

A half-century stand after the resumption between Ollie Pope and Curran held up the Lancashire charge.

Pope fell for 22 attempting to launch Parkinson down the ground but the ball turned past his outside edge and Alex Davies completed the stumping.

Mahmood sealed his career-best figures by trapping Rikki Clarke for seven with one that kept a little low before Gareth Batty came and went without scoring - dismissed by Parry.

Stuart Meaker kept Curran company while he completed his fifty and at that stage they promptly declared, leaving Lancashire with a tricky period to negotiate, but Davies and Jones did just that.