Cricket: Best of Martin and Wasim's fire leaves Penberthy marooned: Lancashire pace duo dominate

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The Independent Online
Northamptonshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .330

Lancashire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-1

TONY PENBERTHY held together his adopted Northamptonshire amid an ordeal by pace yesterday.

The Cornishman was marooned on 79 not out when the innings closed. He had withstood the ferocity of Wasim Akram, whose sharp, lifting deliveries on a bouncy pitch deserved a better return than

3 for 71. Peter Martin, capped by Lancashire last Sunday, produced a championship best 5 for 61 and was not the first bowler to gain benefits from his partner's hostility.

It was almost a relief to get down the other end, away from Wasim, after Rob Bailey's dismissal resulted from an act of self-defence as the ball flicked his glove. Warren Hegg held the first of three catches, initially from a swinging, full- length delivery to Alan Fordham, and a second high over his head during an absorbing, all-action day of rapid scoring and eight catches behind or close to the wicket.

Northamptonshire had been put in and Wasim made the ball climb disconcertingly but Kevin Curran made a brash half-century before he became Jason Gallian's maiden championship victim.

Penberthy and Curran added 112 from 31 overs after Mal Loye retired hurt on 18, having been struck on the helmet by Martin. He departed to hospital for treatment to a whiplash injury sustained as he attempted to avoid the blow.

Loye duly returned, making a brave 39. Penberthy was dropped on 26 by Alex Barnett at short cover to the chagrin of Wasim, who kicked the ground, but Steve Titchard, Lancashire's opener, also suffered a disappointment, playing on to Paul Taylor when trying to remove his bat.