Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Chapple stays positive despite opening defeat

Lancashire 124 & 176 Sussex 300 & 4-0 Sussex win by 10 wickets

Even champions have to cope with the occasional defeat and the Lancashire captain, Glen Chapple, was quick to point out in the wake of a losing start to his side's defence of their 2011 County Championship that his side were beaten in a quarter of their 16 matches on the way to last summer's title triumph.

Lancashire lost to Sussex by 10 wickets inside three days in their opening match at Liverpool, the first time they have made a losing start to a season since 1998. It was not until the beginning of June that they tasted defeat last year but Chapple saw no significance in that.

"We've lost one game, that's all," he said. "We lost four games last year. If this is one of four games we lose this year, then great. Sussex played some good cricket, which they are entitled to do. They outplayed us."

Lancashire were on the back foot once they were bowled out for 124 on day one after losing the toss. Mike Yardy's century helped Sussex to a first-innings lead of 176 and, although Ashwell Prince and Luke Procter fought back on Saturday morning, Lancashire's hope of setting Sussex a meaningful target evaporated once their partnership was ended after they had added 88 for the fifth wicket.

Prince, after marking his return to Lancashire with a half-century, became one of six wickets in the innings for Sussex's Australian seamer Steve Magoffin, making his Sussex debut.

Lancashire return to Aigburth on Thursday for what could be an even stiffer test, against Warwickshire, the side they pipped for the 2011 title, who opened with a win over Somerset and who will have their England batsman, Ian Bell, available. "We'll address the things we can improve on but we've got plenty of belief and spirit in the bank and we've got to come back positively," Chapple said.