Cricket: Udal persuades Lancashire to shut up shop

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Hampshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .364 and 258-6 dec

Lancashire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .386 and 138-3

Match drawn

AFTER four successive defeats in the Championship, presumably Lancashire considered this drawn-out draw something of a minor triumph. Spectators, meanwhile, were left in a stupor and, as they dozed quietly in the afternoon sunshine, Hampshire probably wondered what more bait was required to bring about some positive cricket.

Mark Nicholas had set a target of 237 and there would have been 57 overs in which to get them had Lancashire been at all interested. Three wickets for six runs in 12 balls from Shaun Udal, however, were enough to persuade the opposition to hang up the closed-for-business sign and, with 99 still required, there were five overs to go when, mercifully, a halt was called.

The Hampshire declaration was generous, all the more so on a slow pitch. In addition, the quick boys, Malcolm Marshall and Kevin Shine, sent down only 10 overs between them while the rest was down to spin.

There was even an over from Robin Smith, whose leg spin was dispatched for no more than a couple of runs. He then collected his hat, sunglasses and box from umpire Vanburn Holder and returned to his position at silly mid-off.

Smith sported a feather in his hat, which was an odd touch bearing in mind that he had just been dropped by England. Paul Terry could justifiably have sported one though, after getting Hampshire out of the sizeable hole dug by Phil DeFreitas. The Lancashire seamer bowled well in this match and, like Smith, will hope for a winter in the West Indies.

Having dismissed Tony Middleton the previous evening, DeFreitas charged in yesterday morning and took out the nightwatchman, Udal, in his first over and David Gower in his second. Gower, under the watchful gaze of Michael Atherton, had made a century first time around but now, having faced eight deliveries and scored a single, gave the England captain a straightforward slip catch.

When Nicholas was leg before to DeFreitas Hampshire were looking a little uneasy at 179 for 5, with a lead of only 157. But there was no shifting Terry, who extended his second Championship century of the summer to 143 by the time the declaration arrived.