Cricket: Roses victory sealed by Hegg

Yorkshire Phoenix 153-9 Lancashire Lightning 143-5 Lancashire win on D/L method
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LANCASHIRE LIGHTNING'S five-wicket victory over Yorkshire Phoenix in their day-night match in the CGU National League ended in near farce at Old Trafford last night.

A floodlight failure, when one of the four banks of lights went down, led to an interruption when Lancashire were 135 for 5 off 36.3 overs in reply to Yorkshire's 153 for 9. The players waited on the square for almost 15 minutes before the umpires Mervyn Kitchen and Mike Harris led them off.

When the lights came back on again the time for the scheduled end of the game - 10.20pm - had already passed. However, the game continued with Lancashire facing a reduced target of 142 in 42 overs using the Duckworth/Lewis method. Neil Fairbrother and Warren Hegg quickly knocked off the seven runs required to finish on 143 for 5, giving Lancashire victory with 27 balls to spare. It consolidated their position as leaders of the First Division, but possibly left the rule-makers with a headache.

Fairbrother was unbeaten on 54, his half-century coming off 80 balls and the last of his four boundaries seemingly sparking the black-out at the Warwick Road end of the ground.

But, inevitably, Muttiah Muralitharan was the architect of Lancashire's victory with two remarkable deliveries which bowled Richard Harden and Anthony McGrath, pegging Yorkshire to a modest 153 for 9 off their 45 overs. It was Muralitharan's last game before returning to Sri Lanka for international duty.

n The advisory panel of the International Cricket Council is to meet at Lord's next week to review procedures on illegal bowling and "throwing", following months of controversy since the action of the off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was called into question in a one-day match between England and Sri Lanka in Adelaide last winter.