County cricket: Lancs edge Hampshire to extend title battle – as it happened

Last modified: 04: 36 PM GMT+0

Lancashire survived a dramatic late wobble to end Hampshire’s title hopes but must wait on Warwickshire’s match with Somerset

See you tomorrow!

And it's goodnight from them! What a brilliantly barmy final day at Aigburth. Well done @lancscricket and @hantscricket, you were 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/9d1BX2RqVM

— tanya aldred (@tjaldred) September 23, 2021

That was utterly, beautifully, bonkers. Now, as Lancashire and Hampshire are roared up the old pavilion steps, Lancs must wait for events at Edgbaston tomorrow to see if they or Warwickshire are the 2021 County Champions.

Now, I must write up. See thee on the blog tomorrow.

Lancashire beat Hampshire by one wicket!

Vilas has a huge swing and by sheer willpower the ball reaches the rope! Vilas 47 not out, Parkinson 0 not out

Mason Crane 5-41. By, as they say, the barest of margins.

Vince arranges and rearranges.

Parkinson survives! The crowd roar. Vilas and Parkinson walk down the pitch and punch gloves. Vilas to face Dawson.

WICKET! Blatherwick c Weatherley b Crane 1 (LAncashire 194-9) Two to win.

Edged. Oh my days. Parkinson to win the game.

Updated

Blatherwick runs a single to keep the strike. Er. Two needed!

WICKET Bailey run out 0 (Lancashire 193-8)

Direct hit by Crane in the covers! Three needed.

And for the first time, Vince show emotion as Vilas shimmies and sends DAwson through midwicket for four. Vince falls down on his knees and puts his head in his hands. needed.

WICKET! Luke Wood c Weatherley b Crane 3 Lancashire 187-7 - need nine to win

Snaffled at short leg by a coiled Weatherley!

Puffs of dust in the footmarks as Crane wheels through another. A tight single, and a direct hit throw, but no cigar. Lancashire 185-6, in spitting distance, just 11 runs needed.

Crane and Vince move the field here, move the field there, before Crane gambols into his action. Lancashire pick off a couple of heartily applauded singles.

Wicket! Too late? Danny Lamb edges Crane to second slip after a handy partnership of 26 with Vilas. Lancashire 177-6. Liam Dawson is handed the River End with 19 needed.

As nails are chewed in Liverpool, the cheers of ‘You Bears’ are ringing round Edgbaston with Dom Sibley - at least I think it’s Dom Sibley - and Rob Yates turning on the afterburners in the hope of giving their bowlers something to work with on the final day. Both openers are unbeaten on 35, Sibley taking the aerial route a couple of times - one six flicked off Josh Davey behind square was, frankly, delicious - and Yates preferring to scorch the ball along the turf with six fours. Warwickshire 84 for none, leading by 62.

Vilas cuts, past a diving slip, the ball bumps over the rope. Behind the stumps, Weatherley and Vince are suddenly cutting an air of resignation. Lancs 176-5, Lancashire need only 20.

Updated

Just 25 needed here at Aigburth. Abbas with the ball. Tension not yet turned to relaxation on the picnic chairs and benches.

Amusingly, there is a wedding party booked in at Aigburth tomorrow, which would have been interesting if the game had gone into the final day. Lancashire 163-5, stealing singles. Crane has a huge lbw shout against Vilas, trying to sweep - 32 needed...

And live from the IPL:

When you’re supposed to be going training, but you can’t get the @lancscricket stream off!! COME ON THE LADS! 🌹🌹🌹🌹

— Liam Livingstone (@liaml4893) September 23, 2021

One last throw of the Abbas dice. But Vilas has got his eye in, crashing Crane through mid-wicket in the last over. His slight figures cruises in from the River End, where piles of chairs are stacked ready for the winter.

Updated

I happened to be watching James Vince at slip through the binoculars as Steven Croft was out for an excellent 20. He barely reacted, as Mason Crane charged about. Nerves of steel? Lancashire 151-5, 45 needed...

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Hampshire captain: James Vince Photograph: Dave Vokes/REX/Shutterstock

Updated

I hear rumblings that Dom Sibley has hit a six.

Dom Sibley wants a word pic.twitter.com/zhe76tK5UK

— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) September 23, 2021

Updated

Barker not the answer it turns out, as Vilas stylishly drives him square for four and the target is less than fifty!

Time for Barker? One last blast of the red ankle socks?

Croft blasts Wheal for four. Vince seems to be trying to persuade the umpires to change the ball. They say no. Crofts blasts Wheal for four. Lancs 140-4, 56 to win.

Hampshire are doing lots of “Come on boys,” but Lancs are slowly knocking them off.

Somerset are (finally) 389 all out for a lead of 22 as Chris Woakes returns finds the edge of Josh Davey’s bat for 16 and Tim Bresnan snaffles the catch at slip. Brings an early tea and there are 36 overs left in the day.

Another fumble for Hampshire, this time Vilas on 0, scuffed behind the stumps. Vince gives a skipper’s pat on the back.

And there we go! Wells caught at first slip for 39, Wheal gets his reward this time. And at tea, Lancashire are 118-4. Lancashire need 78 to win; Hampshire six wickets.

Now what have we here?! Bohannon swallowed at slip, caught low to the ground by James Vince lurking in the slips. Vince licks his lips, Crane bumps hands round the team. Lancshire 112-3.

Mason Crane is warming up, bowling imaginary balls, fiddling with the yellow rag hanging into the back of his waistband.

Finally a wicket at Edgbaston as Jack Leach falls one run short of his half-century. Danny Briggs the man to strike, bowling into the very sparse footmarks on this solid surface and teasing an edge to slip. Somerset 381 for nine in the 134th over, leading by 14 runs. Cracking work by Leach, it must be said, who batted for three hours and bar a couple of plays and misses, didn’t offer a chance until his eventual demise. Some nice uppercut fours off the seamers and one dancing six off Briggs over cow corner earlier. Chris Silverwood and Joe Root take note...

Bohannon brings up the Lancashire hundred with two fours off a rusty Brad Wheal’s opening over. Lancs 101-2: Wells 24, Bohannon 16, and the partnership stretches towards 44 runs.

And another! This time, it’s Dawson who is punished, Wells sweeping him to the rope. .

This isn’t going how I’d expected at all! Too easy for the red red roses.

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On the way! Luke Wells Photograph: Dave Vokes/REX/Shutterstock

We’ve reached a point in the afternoon which is both sleepy, yet crucial. Lancs 81-2 need just another 115 to win.

Dawson tempting, tempting...

You can’t criticise Somerset’s graft. Now 362-8, trailing Warwickshire by just five runs. Jack Leach 37 not out and counting. It’s amusing, thought not for him, how underrated his batting is by England, and yet how often he pulls it out of the bag at crucial times.

Abbas throws down his cap and jumper with some intent and for the first time has a dart from the River End. Barker takes the job of chief polisher, shining the it up on his shirt.

Wood sends him zipping through the covers for four. For some reason or another things not quite flowing for Abbas this afternoon.

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Red socks for danger: Keith Barker Photograph: Dave Vokes/REX/Shutterstock

Josh Bohannon off the mark with a divine cover drive.

Cock-a-hoop Hampshire! A square cut to point and Davies is gone too, for 44 typically pugnacious and entertaining runs. Chapeau Al, and good luck on the other side. Lancashire 57-2.

WICKET!!! Lancs 55-1. Balderson bowled Dawson for 12, his fifth ball of the innings.

It’s a chill wind blowing over Hampshire as Balderson edges and the ball flies between keeper and first slip, neither moving, just looking. The wicket-less Abbas is taken off and Liam Dawson comes on. Davies heaves the first ball for SIX!

A handshake across the twittersphere:

Well played, @SomersetCCC. Well played. 👏

— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) September 23, 2021

No joy for Warwickshire after lunch as Somerset reach the end of the 110th over eight down ... Danny Briggs was the bowler, there was a quartet of catchers around the bat (a Bear cage?), Jack Leach scampered a single second ball and Josh Davey saw out the over ...so it’s all eyes on Aigburth, suddenly everyone at Edgbaston is wearing the Red Rose...

Somerset survive! So now Hampshire win the Championship if they beat Lancashire - who are not rolling over and showing their furry side. Currently 38-0 with Davies 29 not out and swinging for the skies.

Batting-point hero Danny Briggs to bowl the 110th over at Edgbaston. One wicket needed for that bowling bonus point...

This is feeling all too easy for Lancashire. Where’s the jeopardy? 24-0

Afternoon session

And the first ball after lunch is eased away by Davies, with three fielders in pursuit.

In the other Division One match, Yorkshire have fought back thanks to an unbeaten century from Adam Lyth. But (at 252-4) and a lead of only 29, Notts will still fancy ending their rags-to-almost riches-season with a win over the Yorkies.

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An unbeaten century for Adam Lyth at Trent Bridge Photograph: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com/REX/Shutterstock

Lunchtime scores

Division One

Liverpool Hampshire 143 and 158-7 v Lancashire 141 and 19-0 Lancs need 177 to win

Trent Bridge Nottinghamshire 296 v Yorkshire 73 and 252-4

Edgbaston Warwickshire 367 v v Somerset 325-8

Division Two

Chelmsford Essex 170 BEAT Northants 81 and 45 by an innings and 44 runs.


Bristol Gloucestershire 218 and 54-3 BEAT Durham 140 and 131 by seven wickets

The Kia Oval Glamorgan 672-6DEC v Surrey 140-1

Division Three

Canterbury Middlesex 147 and 363 v Kent 138 and 35-1 Kent need 338 to win

Hove Derbyshire 465 v Sussex 300 and 43-0

New Road Leicestershire 222 and 35-4 v Worcestershire 422

Updated

After lunch, Warwickshire need one wicket in 22 balls..

Wicket and lunch at Edgbaston to see this game within a game within a Championship race beautifully poised. Hometown hero Chris Woakes was the man to strike for the Bears, finally breaching Lewis Gregory’s defence on 68 for a straightforward lbw and a huge roar from the crowd. It sees Warwickshire needing one more wicket in the first 22 balls after the break for that precious third bowling point. Somerset 325 for eight from 106.2 overs.

Five overs left to get two wickets for the Bears...

Today, Barker’s socks are red with white spots. Davies patiently plays him back. Early advantage, Lancashire: 19-0.

Frustration building for Warwickshire at Edgbaston, with Lewis Gregory (61 from 124 balls) and Jack Leach (13 from 43) - the guy whose apparent lack of batting prowess cost him a Test spot this summer - digging in well for Somerset, despite the odd play and miss. The Bears need two wickets in the next seven overs to claim full bowling points but just as troubling for them is Somerset reaching 314 for seven, 53 runs behind. The prospects of a victory charge starting to shrink on what is a flat pitch.

Updated

Oohh-errrr-ooof. Wheal inexplicably drops Davies on 15 at at mid-on off Barker. Cold hands.

“Brilliant,” bashes out David Malcom. “They play a championship deciding match at an outground without lights at the end of September. Result - bad light stops play. Who would have thought of that in autumn in Liverpool. The reason - Lancashire staging a concert at Old Trafford. What a joke. Cricket is run by greedy idiots.”

To be fair it was raining quite hard in Manchester this morning...And I do have some sympathy for for Lancashire, they’d built up a small surplus which was then ruined by Covid.

And Davies powers Barker for a cover drive for four. And another! The grand farewell? Lancs 13-0.

Updated

Romeo has asked me to canvass opinions round the press tent to see what people think is going to happen next season in reference to two divisions/conferences. The answer is that even the best connected don’t know! I don’t think even the people making the decisions have made their minds up - with a split in some cases between what the players and administrators want.

Here at Aigburth, the players are back on the pitch, with Lancashire notching up their first run in the chase. At the Pavilion End, Abbas has the ball.

And after four balls, the umpires walk towards each other as if in a daze ... and off they come off for bad light.

Lancashire need 196 to win

Here they come! Abbas kicking his legs up to meet his hands, Barker pawing the ground at the River End. It is dark and cold.

Updated

The new ball wasn’t doing much for Warwickshire but a replacement was called for after Lewis Gregory pulled Chris Woakes (bit short so far) for six. Didn’t take the umpires much time to decide on the switch and the new one did the trick, Tim Bresnan getting an inswinger to crash into the front pad of Craig Overton for the simplest of decisions and a glorious celebrappeal from the bowler. Somerset 271 for seven, trailing by 96, after 90 overs...

I am now in wooly hat, gloves, and coat as the canvas walls of the press tent are blown in and out by a determined autumn wind.

And that’s it! Abbas caught behind off Balderson for a common or garden outside edge. Hampshire all out 194, Lancashire need 196 to win. Tom Bailey 7-37. A career best. This is an out-of-date stat now but, had he got the eighth it would have been the best bowling figures since Simon Kerrigan took nine against Hampshire here in 2011...

Updated

A four through third man for Wheal; Barker edges past second slip and the lead builds to a sniff of 200... but THAT’s OUT! Barker snaffled by Davies off Bailey. That’s Bailey’s fiftieth first-class wicket this season and his seventh wicket of the innings and a career best! Hampshire 186-9.

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Tom Bailey: seven for not a lot. Photograph: Barry Mitchell/REX/Shutterstock

Peter Salmon plaintively writes: “Still not quite got my head around all of this, so to quote Galaxy Quest, please explain it to me as if I were a child. Seems Warwickshire needs to get bowling points to win? If Hampshire wins does Hampshire win? If Lancs wins, who wins? As. If I. Were. A. Child.”

So:

If Warwickshire get max bowling points and win, Warwickshire are champions regardless of anything else.

If Warwickshire win but don’t get max bowling points and Hampshire win, Hampshire are champions

If Warwickshire draw/lose and Lancashire win, Lancs are champions.

WICKET!! A prolonged roar as Tom Bailey sends home Felix Organ lbw, trying to angle a straight one, 28 minutes into the day. Hampshire 176-8 and as the wind gets up shoulder hunch around the rope.

Bailey celebrates the lbw of Organ.
Bailey celebrates the lbw of Organ. Photograph: Barry Mitchell/REX/Shutterstock

Updated

First boundary of the day from Felix Organ, Tom Bailey dispatched. And an edge flies past where third slip would be. The sun has disappeared and the clouds are brooding.

Incidentally - Liverpool South Parkway station. A lovely station but there’s no-one there!

Big wicket at Edgbaston with just deliveries to go before the second new ball. Bresnan gets a little bit of late movement and Davies, on the back foot, just fiddles outside off for a regulation caught behind. Beauty. And the celebrations said plenty. Davies gone for 52 and Somerset are 247 for six from 79.5 overs, trailing by 120 runs.

Nothing much to report in the first two overs at Aigburth. Do you want to know the feeling in my bones? Oh go on then: Hampshire to scuffle to a lead of 200 and Lancs’ early batting to be Abbased before a tail-order biff falls gallantly short at the last.

Morning from Edgbaston, where I appear to have dressed like the character Seabass from Dumb and Dumber (trucker hat, gilet, checked shirt) and we’re all set for an intriguing third day. Light whisper of rain as I walked to the ground but it’s since passed and there is a mix of blue sky and cloud overhead. New ball in three overs makes for the latest BIG FIRST HOUR™. Will be interesting to see how quickly or otherwise Warwickshire can shut down this Somerset innings, currently 239 for five, and the approach thereafter with the bat second innings. Btw, it’s free entry today for anyone in the area. Come and say hello.

Scores on the doors

Division One

Liverpool Hampshire 143 and 158-7 v Lancashire 141 and 19-0 Lancs need 177 to win

Trent Bridge Nottinghamshire 296 v Yorkshire 73 and 252-4 not lunch

Edgbaston Warwickshire 367 v v Somerset 325-8

Division Two

Chelmsford Essex 170 BEAT Northants 81 and 45 by an innings and 44 runs.


Bristol Gloucestershire 218 and 54-3 BEAT Gloucestershire 218 and 54-3 by seven wickets

The Kia Oval Glamorgan 672-6DEC v Surrey 140-1

Division Three

Canterbury Middlesex 147 and 363 v Kent 138 and 35-1

Hove Derbyshire 465 v Sussex 300 and 43-0

New Road Leicestershire 222 and 35-4 v Worcestershire 422

Updated

The Championship could be won here today - if Warwickshire don’t get their bowling points and Hampshire win. If Lancashire win, Warwickshire need to win. Either way, there isn’t yet any trophy or boundary boards embossed with Champions at Liverpool...

Preamble

Good morning! This is it (probably). The rain that woke up Manchester has cleared Liverpool and it is dry and sunny at Aigburth, with a brisk breeze. Over at Edgbaston, there has been a light shower but they are hoping to start on time. Hampshire are knocking a football around by the burger van, Lancashire are outside the pavilion in their orange and black training kit. Around the ground, cagoul-clad supporters unfold their newspapers. This is how the season ends.

Contributors

Tanya Aldred at Aigburth, with Ali Martin at Edgbaston

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