Cork stays buoyant amid drift to draw

Northamptonshire 357 & 146-4 Lancashire 284 Match drawn

Dominic Cork and Gerard Brophy both hit half-centuries as Lancashire's County Championship First Division match against Northamptonshire finished in a draw here yesterday.

Dominic Cork and Gerard Brophy both hit half-centuries as Lancashire's County Championship First Division match against Northamptonshire finished in a draw here yesterday.

Cork made 74, his highest score for more than a year and his maiden first-class fifty for Lancashire. But they lost their final three first-innings wickets in three overs and were all out for 284, 16 runs short of a third batting bonus point.

Northamptonshire replied with 146 for 4 in their second innings before the captains agreed on a draw, with Brophy top-scoring with 67.

The South African put on 47 for the first wicket with Tim Roberts before the former Lancashire man was caught at slip by Cork off Gary Keedy.

The former England all-rounder added a second sharp slip catch to send back Martin van Jaarsveld and give the hosts' 19-year-old seamer Oliver Newby his first championship wicket.

Newby, who had bowled well without luck in the first innings, picked up a second when Usman Afzaal's hook flew to John Wood at long leg.

But it was all academic after the captains, David Sales for the visitors and his counterpart, Warren Hegg, had failed to agree on a Lancashire run-chase to give meaning to the last day of this rain-affected match.

Northamptonshire took 11 points but stay bottom of the First Division. Lancashire's nineleft them in fifth place.

Northamptonshire will be without their Welsh paceman Steffan Jones for at least six weeks after he suffered a double fracture of his left foot during the Lancashire innings.

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