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County Championship Division 1
St James Street, Taunton
Lancashire won their first outright County Championship title since 1934 after chasing a target of 211 for an eight-wicket win over Somerset on the final day of the season.
Openers Stephen Moore and Paul Horton got them off to flying start with a 131-run stand in 17 overs, ensuring they were immediately in control of the required-rate.
Horton (55) and Moore (71) fell in quick succession but Steven Croft (40no) and Karl Brown (33no), both Lancashire born and bred, saw the Red Rose county home with more than five overs to spare, sparking a pitch invasion from their team-mates.
Warwickshire had been in pole position at the start of the day but could only draw their match against already-relegated Hampshire at the Rose Bowl, leaving the door ajar for Lancashire to end their 77-year drought.
Lancashire's 10th victory of the season - one more than Warwickshire managed - saw them prevail by 11 points in the final table.
Earlier on the final day at Taunton, Peter Trego's chanceless century held up their charge as Somerset advanced their second innings from an overnight position of 105-5 to 310 all out in the afternoon session.
The Cidermen looked set for a quick defeat when Steve Kirby and Craig Meschede fell to Lancashire skipper Glen Chapple (3-53) inside the first hour.
But, from 130-7, Trego shared stands worth 75 and 95 with Alfonso Thomas (18) and Murali Kartik (65no) respectively.
Spinner Simon Kerrigan (3-109) finally accounted for Trego on 120 and last man Gemaal Hussain quickly ran himself out to leave the stage set for a frantic finale.
Lancashire continued to battle for the LV= County Championship title on the third day of their clash with Somerset at Taunton.
Resuming play on 247-3 in reply to Somerset's 380, the visitors moved on to 480 all out before reducing their hosts to 105-5 by close of play. If they force a win, Warwikshire would need victory over Hampshire to take the honours.
Luke Procter (29) was the first wicket of the day but Steven Croft (54) and Tom Smith (28) added a further 53 before Smith was lbw to Alfonso Thomas.
Croft fell to Steve Kirby six runs later and Thomas had Gareth Cross caught at extra cover for 20 to leave the visitors on 371-7. However, Kyle Hogg hit a priceless 46 to take the Red Rose county past the 400 mark and secure his side maximum batting points.
Gemaal Hussain removed Hogg and Glen Chapple (23), but Simon Kerrigan, who made a career-best 40, and Gary Keedy (13 not out) put on a last-wicket stand of 57 to extend the first-innings advantage to 100 runs.
Hogg dismissed youngsters Alex Barrow and Chris Jones as Somerset slipped to 25-3, before Keedy had James Hildreth (39) stumped and Simon Kerrigan sent Joss Buttler (27) back with a brilliant catch by Paul Horton.
Lancashire kept their title hopes alive in a hard-fought second day of their County Championship finale against Somerset on Tuesday.
Stephen Moore, Paul Horton and Karl Brown all hit half-centuries to take the visitors to 247-3 by close of play at Taunton and keep their county in the hunt for silverware.
After resuming on 314-5 the hosts crashed to 380 all out, with Gary Keedy the pick of the bowlers, completing the innings with figures of 4-57 from 28 overs.
Moore (68) and Horton (50) gave Lancashire a fine start in reply, putting on 104 for the first wicket when the latter was caught behind cutting at Murali Kartik.
Lancashire were 133-1 at tea and pushed on to 206 before Moore pulled a short ball from Kartik into the hands of Chris Jones at deep square leg.
Brown fell to a low catch by Peter Trego off Kartik five overs later but Luke Procter and Steven Croft saw Lancashire through to the close.
James Hildreth hit a determined century for Somerset on day one of their LV=County Championship match against title hopefuls Lancashire at Taunton.
The 27-year-old batsman, who captained England Lions during the winter, hit an unbeaten 161, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 170 with Jos Buttler (68) as the home side posted 314-5 after winning the toss.
Lancashire spinners Gary Keedy (2-56) and Simon Kerrigan bowled with great control in windy conditions but the visitors were handicapped by an injury to skipper Glen Chapple, who pulled up in his fifth over and subsequently struggled.
Chapple dismissed Somerset openers Alex Barrow (8) and Arul Suppiah (29) but was in clear discomfort by the time he took the new ball later in the day and bowled just two more overs.
Tom Smith also took the wicket of Chris Jones (1) before Hildreth and Buttler joined forces and batted through the afternoon. They reached their hundred and fifty respectively off the same Keedy over, although he and Kerrgian generally did well to slow the run rate.
Keedy eventually dismissed Buttler caught and bowled and also took the scalp of Peter Trego (1), with Hilreth joined by Craig Meschede (24 not out) through to stumps.County Championship. Click here to bet.
I massive well done to Lancs. Well worth the drive (and bunking of work) to watch match. Ohhhh Lancy Lancy.
Posted 21:34 15th September 2011
Another victory for dodgy pitches
Posted 20:11 15th September 2011
A great day for cricket. The 'Red Rose' county - Champions. The 'White Rose' county - relegated. Their is a god. Well done lads - the end of 70 odd years of hurt. Pity their isn't a Champions League competition. keep it going.
Posted 19:47 15th September 2011
congrats to lancashire well done boys u deserve it easy the best team this year
Posted 18:46 15th September 2011