Lancashire turn the screw as County struggle

I think you would call it being given a taste of your own medicine.

By Alec Swann
Wednesday, 10th July 2013, 8:48 pm
David Willey, who took 5-108, bowls Kyle Hogg for a duck
David Willey, who took 5-108, bowls Kyle Hogg for a duck

This season, and in the recent past, Northamptonshire have made a habit of punching well above their weight when it comes to the output of their tail.

Time and again they have turned a potentially sticky situation into a more than promising, and quite often a matchwinning, one.

Without a detailed trawl through the cricketing archives I wouldn’t be able to tell you the last time an opposition side staged such a rearguard but that is what Lancashire did.

When Kyle Hogg had his stumps shattered by David Willey for a second ball duck, the visitors were 308-8, two runs in arrears and looking at a marginal first innings advantage.

Thirty-two overs later, when Glen Chapple edged the persevering Willey, who finished with 5-108, to Andrew Hall at slip, the score read 436 and whatever ground had been gained by the hosts was well and truly gone.

This was down to the fact that Chapple would be one of the better number ten batsmen going around, he rarely looked troubled throughout his time at the crease, and the excellence of Simon Katich.

The pair combined in a stand of 128 - a Lancashire record for the ninth wicket against Northants - and emphatically drained the life out of a home attack who had their tails up after their early successes.

Katich finally fell a ball after reaching his double century, lofting Cameron White to deep midwicket, to bring an end to an eight-hour display of controlled, unflustered and highly-skilled batsmanship.

But while plenty of praise should be given to the Lancashire duo, the County hardly helped their own cause by dropping three catches, the most costly of which was Katich in the third over of the day.

That mishap, with David Sales the guilty party and Willey the unfortunate bowler, came with the left-hander on 115 and once he had been reprieved it became almost inevitable that he would cash in.

It was particularly harsh on Willey who bounced back from a below-par effort on the first day with a strong showing with the second new ball.

Once Hall had removed Luke Procter for 85, excellently snaffled down the leg-side by David Murphy, Willey’s swing was too much for Gareth Cross and White, both lbw, and Hogg who was cleaned up with his feet nowhere.

Katich’s dismissal came with the lead at 132 and this would’ve seemed substantially more when Kyle Coetzer was superbly caught by Karl Brown at third slip off Chapple.

Sales looked in no real trouble before he was bowled on the back foot by Simon Kerrigan - Sales’ place must be under real pressure - and Ben Duckett was out in a similar fashion the over after surviving a concerted appeal for caught behind off White.

Cameron White didn’t last too long before he became Kerrigan’s third victim and although James Middlebrook, who had stood firm at the other end, and Hall saw it through to the close, an uphill task awaits come the morning.