Old Trafford draw leaves Lancashire and Hampshire in relegation fight

Lancashire's Jordan Clark
Lancashire's Jordan Clark

Division One strugglers Lancashire and Hampshire played out a high-scoring Specsavers County Championship draw at Emirates Old Trafford, with both now facing the prospect of a relegation fight.

The players shook hands at 4.50pm, when the visitors declared on 237-5 in their second innings, leading by 277.

Opener Joe Weatherley’s unbeaten 126 off 260 balls, which saw him bat through the whole day, was his maiden first-class hundred.

Lancashire took 11 points from the match and Hampshire 10. The draw means that both sides leapfrog Yorkshire to leave the White Rose second bottom in Division One after their seven-wicket defeat to leaders Surrey at Scarborough.

Yorkshire are four points behind Hampshire and three behind Lancashire but have a game in hand on both.

James Vince’s Hampshire started day four on 66-2 – a lead of 106. An attritional morning saw Hampshire add only 69 as bowlers continued to work hard.

All-rounder Jordan Clark made the breakthrough in the 12th over of the day, Sam Northeast bowled for 10.

Lancashire had an early lbw decision against Weatherley adjudged not out. He batted for six and a quarter hours in all.

This was his second century for the county, his first coming against Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup. What he would do for a repeat in the final at Lord’s on Saturday!

First innings centurion Rilee Rossouw was out for a single – lbw to Clark.

After tea, Weatherley and Ian Holland (26 not out) batted through, sharing an unbroken 73 for the sixth wicket to advance from 164-5 following the departure of Rossouw.

Lancashire face another relegation battle when the Championship resumes after the Vitality Blast – they welcome Yorkshire to Old Trafford at the end of July.

That will be their final Championship match at the venue this season as the club will be relaying the outfield ahead of next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup and the Ashes Test.

Head coach Glen Chapple said: “The wicket held up better than I expected. It didn’t offer as much spin as I thought it would today.

“I thought the lads fought really hard over four days and got themselves into a position to put them under pressure. Dane Vilas and Alex (Davies) batted really well.

“I thought Jordan Clark played the third seamer’s role very well and enjoyed the extra responsibility.

“The lads have been working hard and we can’t fault their effort. We had youngsters coming in. It’s not our full-strength team and we played well. I thought the energy levels on such a hot week were fantastic.”