Lancashire v Northamptonshire Report

A career-best innings of 257* from Ashwell Prince saw Lancashire cruise to victory by an innings and 200 runs against bottom of the table Northamptonshire.

Prince was part of hundred run partnerships with Steven Croft, Jos Buttler and Tom Smith as Lancashire posted 650-5 declared – their ninth highest total of all time.

In return Northamptonshire were struck down by Glen Chapple’s 39th first-class five wicket haul and were dismissed for 180 in the first innings.

The second innings did not fare much better and within half an hour of day four starting, Northamptonshire were dismissed a second time for 270 and a resounding loss.

After slumping to 33-3 on the first day, Prince and Croft (156) then put on 332 runs together in a record breaking partnership.

Buttler then dominated the scoring on the start of day two, smashing four sixes on his way to a fabulous 87 from 91 balls which saw him score his final 50 runs in just 22 balls.

Tom Smith also chipped in 79 and by the time the declaration was called Lancashire had posted a mammoth 650-6.

Northamptonshire were struck down early on by Chapple, who took wickets in his first two overs, and only Richard Levi (58) showed any resolve from the top order.

Andrew Hall proved stubborn throughout the game, scoring 92 runs from 223 balls without being dismissed once and was ably assisted by the swinging willow of Azharullah at number 11.

When Simon Kerrigan dismissed Azharullah for his fourth wicket of the innings, Lancashire could finally celebrate their second win of the County Championship season.

Maximum batting and bowling points as well as the win meant that this was the first time in the County’s history that they had taken 24 points from a top flight game.

Lancashire’s Assistant Coach Gary Yates said: “It was the complete game for us.”

He added: “It was a very good wicket and after being 33-3 on the first day we managed to get through that period, we kicked on and the final three days have been outstanding for us.”

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