Spinners respond to Hegg's call

Warren Hegg completed a memorable week in his capacity as acting captain by leading Lancashire to successive one-day and four-day victories over Somerset and by becoming the county wicketkeeper with the most catches, overtaking George Duckworth's 634.

Warren Hegg completed a memorable week in his capacity as acting captain by leading Lancashire to successive one-day and four-day victories over Somerset and by becoming the county wicketkeeper with the most catches, overtaking George Duckworth's 634.

He was also captain, while John Crawley recovers from an appendix operation, when Lancashire survived a visit from the pitch panel and will be leading them against the champions Surrey, on Wednesday when the title will be confirmed. All Surrey have to do is to declare and ensure Lancashire do not collect full points.

That will not lessen the tensions. Pitch inspections have made this a highly political summer. Lancashire were always confident that they would not lose eight points over this surface but it has to be repeated that if Scarborough (grassy but no variable bounce) was punishable then so was Old Trafford (bare but variable bounce throughout). At Scarborough eight wickets fell on the first day for 330 runs; here 12 wickets fell for 274. Both pitches were damp at the start; it has been a very wet summer in the North.

Somerset have lost at both venues and not uttered a word of complaint. Without their two Test players and their injured leading bowler Matt Bulbeck, they would not have expected to collect too many points on their Northern visits but, at least, their First Division status is safe.

Resuming 266 runs behind with four wickets down, they could only prolong proceedings to save face and hope that the weather might intervene. The innings lasted another 35 overs, Peter Bowler batting through 33 of them to add another 53 runs. The tail rallied behind his leadership but the early loss of Mike Burns and Graham Rose meant that any sliver of hope of saving the match had gone. Hegg, again, let the spinners apply the coup de grâce.

Lancashire should finish second for a third successive year and have been showing increasing tenacity in the final weeks, a sign perhaps that the title that has eluded them outright since 1934 may soon join the FA Premiership trophy, housed a half-mile away. They are waiting confirmation that Sri Lanka's schedule will permit the re-signing of Muttiah Muralitharan. There will also be active recruiting for at least two Test-class reinforcements this winter.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor