Blackpool's Richard Gleeson takes first five-wicket haul for Lancashire on Old Trafford bow

Lancashire's Richard Gleeson celebrates a wicket playing for hometown club Blackpool earlier in the season
Lancashire's Richard Gleeson celebrates a wicket playing for hometown club Blackpool earlier in the season
Share this article

Blackpool’s Richard Gleeson played his first competitive cricket of the season for Lancashire and took five wickets against his former county as the Red Rose had the better of the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Blackpool’s Richard Gleeson played his first competitive cricket of the season for Lancashire and took five wickets against his former county as the Red Rose had the better of the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
Gleeson finished with 5-63 as Northants were dismissed for 230 and by the close Lancashire had reached 29-1 in reply.
Despite the departure of Haseeb Hameed, who was caught behind when pushing forward to Ben Sanderson for seven, Lancashire appear well placed.
The home side by no means had things all their own way. Luke Procter made 48 against the side he once represented and added 70 for the seventh wicket with Luke Wood, who top-scored with 66 in the first game of his second loan spell with the Wantage Road club.
The visitors encountered most of their woes in the afternoon session. Having reached lunch on 80-2, both Ricardo Vasconcelos and Alex Wakely nicking catches to Lancashire wicketkeeper Dane Vilas, Northants lost four wickets in little more than an hour after the resumption.
Blackpool-born Gleeson returned to remove both Rob Newton for 32 and Rob Keogh for three, both lbw, in the first five overs of the session.
That left the visitors on 101-4but worse was to follow in the next over when Rob Jones dived to take a superb gully catch off Tom Bailey and send Josh Cobb on his way on his way without scoring.
Graham Onions may have been fortunate to get a leg before decision against Temba Bavuma but the South African debutant’s dismissal for 39 left his side on 119-6.
Almost all the rest of the play before tea was dominated by a shrewd partnership between Procter, who once batted with similar aplomb for Lancashire, and the Nottinghamshire loanee Wood, several of whose nine boundaries came from cuts and drives through the off-side.
Just before the close of an absorbing session, Procter was caught at slip by Keaton Jennings for 48, thus giving Gleeson his first five-wicket haul for Lancashire and ending Procter’s vital stand with Wood, who was unbeaten on 38 at the break.
Northamptonshire’s eighth-wicket pair, Wood and ellow loanee Jamie Overton, added 19 more runs in the evening session before Overton was leg before to Onions. who three balls later plucked out Nathan Buck’s off-stump before the batsman had scored.
Wood was the last man out when he skied a hook off Onions and Bailey dived to take a fearsome steepler at long leg.
That wicket gave Onions figures of 4-45 at the end of an innings in which he had given Gleeson excellent support.
Gleeson said: “I think the wicket’s quite good but we bowled well as a unit and managed to pile on the pressure.
“It’s nice to get my first five-for the club, and especially after being out with a few injuries it was pleasant to get out on the park.
“You’re always eager to get the ball in your hand and get your first wicket at the start of a new season.
“But it was my first game at Old Trafford, so there were a few butterflies at the start of the day. It’s a great ground and there were a few on as well in the nice weather.
“I thought Saqib Mahmood bowled brilliantly up top but didn’t get the rewards, and I thought I managed to prosper where he was unfortunate.
“As a quartet I thought we bowled brilliantly and that’s what we aimed to do at the start of the day, when we backed the four seamers and wanted to bowl first.”