Croft in cracking form before Anderson and Onions put Lancashire in control at Derby

Steven Croft was back to his best for Lancashire in the County Championship
Steven Croft was back to his best for Lancashire in the County Championship
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Graham Onions and Jimmy Anderson tore through Derbyshire as Lancashire tightened their grip on the Division Two match at Derby.

Graham Onions and Jimmy Anderson tore through Derbyshire as Lancashire tightened their grip on the Division Two match at Derby.

On another day dominated by the bowlers, Luis Reece took 6-58 before Steven Croft’s unbeaten 53, his highest championship innings in 14 months, steered Lancashire to 236 and a lead of 83.

Onions then struck three times as he and Anderson reduced Derbyshire to 19-4 before the weather closed in with the home side still 64 runs adrift.

Derbyshire’s disciplined bowling had earlier dried up the flow of runs and reduced Lancashire to 134-6 before Croft guided his side to a significant lead.

Saqib Mahmood fulfilled his nightwatchman duties by batting for 40 minutes until Reece found his outside edge and his tight line finally did for Alex Davies, caught at second slip.

Haseeb Hameed struggled, facing 33 balls for nine before Reece found his edge, and although Liam Livingstone batted aggressively, Derbyshire were back in business after lunch.

Livingstone steered Logan van Beek to second slip and Sam Connors claimed his first championship wicket when Rob Jones was lbw

But Derbyshire’s chances of restricting Lancashire’s lead were dashed by Croft and Dane Vilas, who added 50 in 13 overs before Reece returned to have the skipper lbw.

When Josh Bohannon drove to cover, the lead was only 33 but Croft and Onions secured the only batting point of the match before Billy Godleman dropped Croft on 34 at mid- off.

Onions sliced Ravi Rampaul to cover in the first over after tea but Anderson made sure Croft reached 50 before falling lbw to Rampaul.

The light was now poor enough for the floodlights to be switched on and Derbyshire crumbled to Onions and Anderson.

Tom Lace, who made his maiden first-class hundred last week, was promoted to open but feathered Onions’ first ball down the leg-side and the former England fast bowler struck again in his third over.

Wayne Madsen was bowled for nine, then Anderson pinned Godleman lbw for five after beating the bat on numerous occasions.

Anderson and Onions were now almost unplayable, and after only two runs were added in five overs Leus du Plooy was lbw.