Law reminds Essex of discarded talent

Lancashire 218 Essex 6-2
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The Independent Online

There were not many Essex supporters who were happy to see Stuart Law leave the county two years ago in somewhat acrimonious circumstances. Indeed, the members here accorded him a standing ovation before and after his half-century against Somerset in his final championship innings for the side.

There were not many Essex supporters who were happy to see Stuart Law leave the county two years ago in somewhat acrimonious circumstances. Indeed, the members here accorded him a standing ovation before and after his half-century against Somerset in his final championship innings for the side.

Yesterday, those same spectators found themselves applauding the prolific Queenslander once more, only this time they were probably glad to see the back of him following an invaluable half-century for Lancashire.

He was all that had stood between Essex and a complete rout of the visitors. Every one of the 13 fours and the six in his 122-ball stay was a poignant reminder of what he is capable. Had it not been for his three-hour vigil Lancashire would have been a right old pickle.

As it was they failed to reach the 300-mark for the first time this season, missing out on four precious batting bonus points - not the ideal way to maintain their title challenge.

At least they had the consolation of picking up two very cheap Essex wickets before bad light ended proceedings, and that was without their strike bowlers James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff, who are on England duty.

Peter Martin claimed both in four balls; the first when Paul Grayson shouldered arms to the opening ball of the innings only to see his off-stump uprooted; the second when James Foster jabbed at an inswinger to present Jamie Haynes with a sharp chance at short-leg.

Law had alternately crafted and blasted a useful 80 in the face of some disciplined bowling, Scott Brant and Jon Dakin giving the batsmen little room for error.

Only Glen Chapple was able to provide Law with any real support, although Chris Schofield compiled a useful unbeaten 35 to ensure Lancashire at least secured one batting point.

Law finally fell to Brant - the Zimbabwe-born 20-year-old signed from Queensland and the pick of the bowlers - getting under a short ball and miscuing to deep midwicket. Cue crowd applause.

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