Cricket: Lancashire coast to second title

Lancashire 202

Hampshire 186-7

Lancashire won by 16 runs

LANCASHIRE COLLECTED their second trophy in little more than 24 hours when a 16-run victory over Hampshire clinched the AXA League title before an enthusiastic home crowd at Old Trafford.

Basking in the glow of Sunday's crushing defeat of Derbyshire in the NatWest Trophy final, Lancashire recovered from a slow start to total 202 in 40 overs, thanks mainly to 69 off 58 balls by the 20-year-old Andrew Flintoff.

Robin Smith (44) threatened to spoil the party as Hampshire reached the last 10 overs with 74 needed and eight wickets still in hand. But, once Smith had been dismissed in the 34th over, Hampshire's challenge fizzled out as five wickets fell for 30 runs.

Lancashire's triumph brought a tear to the eye of their chairman, Jack Simmons, whose first full year in office has brought a repeat of the double won in 1970, when he was a player. "It is not quite as big a thrill as when I was a player but I never cried then and I have cried twice in two days this week," he said.

"It is hard to make comparisons. I thought I played in an excellent side but I said at the start of this season that there was no other county whose squad I would swap for ours. This side can win anything and it is fabulous to think we could make history by winning the Championship as well."

Lancashire, without Michael Atherton because of back trouble, made a sluggish start after Wasim Akram had won the toss, slipping to 50 for 3 in 15 overs. John Crawley, whose unbeaten 53 helped ease the way to victory at Lord's, fell for only seven.

However, Flintoff happened upon just the right moment to recover his form after enduring a drought in which he had scored only 110 runs in 16 innings in all cricket since making 70 against Warwickshire in the Championship on 29 June.

Yesterday's innings was a characteristic exhibition of powerful hitting that included three sixes and four other boundaries before he became a second victim for Dmitri Mascarenhas, when he was caught at long on.

Flintoff's partnership with Graham Lloyd added 110 in 16 overs but when Lloyd was stumped on the legside by Aymes a collapse followed, the last six wickets falling for 36 runs in seven overs with the West Indian Nixon McLean dismissing Warren Hegg, Glen Chapple and Peter Martin in successive overs.

At 75 for 2 after 20 overs, Hampshire were falling behind the clock after Stephenson had driven Ian Austin in the air to mid-off and Giles White departed in similar fashion off Wasim Akram. A partnership of 96 between Smith and Will Kendall took them to 149 before the former England batsman gave a thin edge to wicketkeeper Hegg in the 34th over.

But Smith's departure sparked a middle-order collapse that proved decisive in tipping the scales in Lancashire's favour, as Kendall sliced Peter Martin to Ian Austin at third man before Mascarenhas saw his stumps flattened by the same bowler.

With 31 still needed, Martin claimed his third success when Glen Chapple took a superb catch on the long-on boundary to remove Nixon McLean, and Hampshire's chance finally expired when Wasim bowled Matthew Keech.

l Lancashire's committee is set to decide today on an overseas player and a captain for next season. They are considering whether to take on the Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan as replacement for Wasim Akram, ending the Pakistani all-rounder's 10-year association with the county, and to name John Crawley as the new captain. Muralitharan would be renewing his link with his former international coach, the Australian Dav Whatmore, who is close to agreeing an extension to his contract as Lancashire coach. The departure of Wasim will be greeted with mixed feelings by county members, who have seen him play a significant role in Lancashire's treble bid.

More cricket, page 19

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor