Cricket: Lloyd's initiative

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The Independent Online
Lancashire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .321-5

Worcs

LANCASHIRE'S committee presented themselves for questioning by the members here last night. Fortunately, the team had their first Championship win in 10 weeks on Thursday and the batsmen, especially Lloyd, Speak and Fairbrother, had a fruitful yesterday.

Worcestershire's committee might hear much to their advantage if they did something similar. Batting or bowling their team tends to the grimly defensive; they could do with someone like Groucho Marx as their next overseas professional.

Mike Atherton's Test duty and a hand injury to Steve Titchard, caused Lancashire to field yet another new opening partnership, Graeme Fowler and John Crawley. Eventually they will open with Atherton and Crawley, as will England. Fowler was as effervescent as usual, showing no respect for the new ball, straight-driving to the boundary with a cavalier disregard for late swing or early seam. He had scored 16 of the first 23 when he played across a ball that kept low.

Rain extracted 11 overs, Nick Speak resuming carefully but Crawley was starting to build an innings when he appeared to misjudge Richard Illingworth's first delivery, probably the arm ball.

Speak and Lloyd settled to match Worcestershire's tight bowling and field settings with similar caution. The afternoon was spent in the glow of two or three lights on the scoreboard, gloomy for a good crowd, one of whom, perhaps bored with the play, gave Lloyd what was possibly the first such instruction of his career: 'Get on with it'.

Graeme Hick, in his fourth over, paid the price: a straight six. The third wicket had added 135 in 37 overs when Speak was caught behind driving, but Lloyd went on to his fourth century of the summer, off 153 balls and including 15 fours. Tim Curtis used eight bowlers.

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