Suffering Keedy makes case

Lancashire 565-7 dec Middlesex 304 & 89-0
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Lancashire have not had much luck where the weather is concerned. For the third successive championship match rain has proved decidedly unhelpful to them. This time it robbed them of a couple of precious hours after they had enforced the follow-on.

Lancashire have not had much luck where the weather is concerned. For the third successive championship match rain has proved decidedly unhelpful to them. This time it robbed them of a couple of precious hours after they had enforced the follow-on.

Gary Keedy had played a major role in helping them take a grip of affairs here, his left-arm spin from the Nursery End earning him the second-best return of his first-class career, an impressive 6 for 68. He gave the ball generous loop, deceiving batsmen through the air, as well as exploiting some awkward rough on or around a length outside the left-handers' off-stump.

It is remarkable to think that had Carl Hooper not fallen foul of the regulations governing overseas players then the West Indies all-rounder would have been playing and Keedy, who has suffered a broken knuckle (pre-season), a sore finger and back spasms with the season not a month old, would have been left kicking his heels.

Lancashire will find out sometime tomorrow after a meeting of the First Class Forum, at which they will decide whether the rule can be waived that prohibits the signing a temporary overseas replacement until their original choice (in this case Harbhajan Singh) recovers from injury. The Indian off-spinner has a finger injury and is not expected at Old Trafford until mid-June at the earliest.

Middlesex's hopes had been high while Ed Joyce and Paul Weekes took their fifth-wicket partnership to 78 before Joyce, who had reached an admirable half-century, nudged injudiciously at Glenn Chapple.

Weekes and Ben Hutton made manful efforts, but Middlesex missed the follow-on by 112 runs.

Before the rain came Lancashire suffered another loss, Flintoff, after four second-innings overs from him, to an upset stomach that had also struck him the day before.

Andrew Strauss, with a half-century, and Sven Koenig negotiated the 16 overs to the close knocking off 89 of the 261 runs needed to make Lancashire bat again.

Comments