Courageous Chapple sums up never-say-die Red Rose

Somerset 380 & 105-5 Lancashire 480


For one happy hour yesterday, Lancashire and their fans could gaze upon a Championship table that fulfilled dreams. Then it was back to nerve-shredding reality and a fight to the finish in this twisting, turning title race.

When Glen Chapple scored the single that lifted his county's first-innings total to 400 – securing maximum batting points – the narrowest possible advantage rested with the Red Rose. All was even at the top but Lancashire held first place on the basis they had enjoyed the better of their matches with fellow contenders Warwickshire.

The Bears then returned to the top but, having come this far, Lancashire were not about to throw in the towel – not with a man like Chapple in charge. The 37-year-old captain defied what is believed to be a torn hamstring by not only batting purposefully but also sending down eight typically waspish overs with the new ball when Somerset started their second dig 100 runs in arrears.

Chapple gave them a terrific start by pinning Arul Suppiah lbw with his 19th delivery. Then Kyle Hogg found the edge twice in quick succession to remove Alex Barrow and Chris Jones before the hosts had reached 30.

It was spinners Gary Keedy and Simon Kerrigan, though, who claimed the big wickets of James Hildreth and Jos Buttler, and it will be a major surprise if an away win is not sealed sooner rather than later today.

Whatever the outcome, Lancashire deserve great credit for staying in the hunt all season with a team that is short of household names but laden with never-say-die spirit. Their performance with the bat in this match sums them up. No-one managed to score a century, nor go beyond 68 for that matter, but the first 10 reached 20 and all 11 made it into double figures to give the side a healthy total of 480.

Lancashire had not taken maximum batting points (posting 400 inside 110 overs) all season. Whether they can end a much longer wait for a far bigger prize remains to be seen.

Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk