Titchard keeps Lancashire in contention

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The Independent Online
reports from Old Trafford

Essex 200 Lancashire 201-7 Lancashire win by three wickets

Playing against Essex would be one of Steve Titchard's many reasons to be cheerful. Awarded his county cap before the AXA Equity and Law League match, Titchard added 53 to his Championship century off their bowling last week.

This was Lancashire's 12th win in 13 one-day games this summer and their victory, watched by almost 8,000, kept the pressure on the leaders, Glamorgan.

Wasim Akram completed it with six balls to spare as 12 runs came off the penultimate scheduled over from Ronnie Irani, a former Lancashire player.

Essex, previously fourth and with a five-match unbeaten sequence, looked destined for a total of around 240 until an extraordinary collapse from 176 for 3 when seven wickets fell for 24 runs in six overs.

Akram was vigorously involved and needed no assistance when yorking Darren Robinson and Mark Ilott and running out Jonathan Lewis in his follow through all in the same over.

Graham Gooch became the first of John Crawley's two run-out victims along with two others in the innings. The excellence of a second-wicket partnership worth 119 in 24 overs between Mark Waugh and Nasser Hussain had given way to comic cuts.

Akram conceded only 20 runs off the bat in eight overs and Ian Austin bowled economically to counter Waugh, who made 83, including eight fours and a six from 89 balls, and Hussain, with only three fours in his 73.

Lancashire's fielding eclipsed that of Essex furtive fumblers.Waugh was well caught by Crawley at short extra cover and Jason Gallian held a tumbling gully catch to dismiss Paul Pritchard.

Peter Such distinguished himself with two athletic catches at short midwicket and Waugh held three, yet Essex showed laxity not least in their bowling.

After an opening partnership of 87 in 17 overs between Gallian and Titchard, Lancashire lost wickets regularly but not as vividly as Essex. Graham Lloyd chipped in but Akram provided the master strokes.