Lancashire discipline leaves Dominic Cork's Hampshire in disarray | County Championship match report

• Lancashire 328 & 8-0; Hampshire 133 & 201
• Lancashire win by 10 wickets

If there is a word that sums up what Lancashire are all about this season, it is discipline. So said their stand-in captain, Mark Chilton, after a side that many considered possible relegation candidates this season completed a fifth victory in six matches to extend their lead at the top of the County Championship.

"We have a small squad of 16 or 17, but every player is making a contribution," Chilton said. Kyle Hogg, who took four wickets for seven runs to finish off Hampshire and give him a match return of 11 for 59, was a case in point.

"For Kyle to come in and bowl that well on his first championship appearance of the season speaks volumes for the quality we have in the group," Chilton said. "But it's not just good luck, we've been working towards it for a long time. From the time we got together in December, [the coach] Peter Moores has been extremely efficient, especially with the bowlers. Every ball has been monitored and we've worked incredibly hard on being consistent and disciplined."

On a pitch offering the seam bowlers every assistance, and against a Hampshire batting line-up devoid of confidence, those qualities were all that were needed to get the job done. In fact the match was probably won on the first day, when the Hampshire captain Dominic Cork put Lancashire in. It was the right decision, but stubborn and brave batting, particularly by Karl Brown and later on by the tail, coupled with poor bowling, enabled Lancashire to post a first innings score at least 100 runs higher than it should have been.

"That was probably the key, Brown's 96 was the best innings I've seen for a long time," Chilton said. "After that it was a case of bowling to plans, putting it in the right place, keeping the runs down and taking the chances when they came."

All of which Lancashire did with the sort of unfussy competence which bodes well for their chances of maintaining their bid to win a first outright title for 77 years. The match against Durham, which starts on Sunday, will be another vital test.

"They're a form team, but with the quality of cricket we're producing we'll try to put them under pressure," Chilton said. "Sewing this match up early gives us another day-and-a-half to prepare, and for the bowlers to do their regeneration work with the physios, and that will be a big help."

Hampshire, by contrast, are in disarray, and it was surprising to see captain Cork, having declined to comment, driving away within 15 minutes of the match ending.

"It has been a very tough start and the boys have not clicked so far as a group," their cricket manager, Giles White, said.

"We have to reassess and go from there. We have not performed for long periods, but we have players coming back for T20 so Michael Lumb and Imran Tahir are ready to play, Liam Dawson will be back and Shahid Afridi arrives on Sunday so they will all add sunshine to the group because it is a pretty sad place at the moment."


Richard Rae at the Rose Bowl

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