‘Most disappointing’: Lancashire centurion Ashwell Prince frustrated by Championship opener defeat

South African Ashwell Prince notched his third century in four County Championship innings for Lancashire but admitted his ‘disappointment’ as his side fell short in their run chase against Nottinghamshire.

In the opening game of the County Championship season at Trent Bridge, Lancashire had the luxury of being able to field England star James Anderson – who returned impressive match figures of 7-108.

It was the batting performance in the first innings which let Lancashire down and gave Prince & co a mountain to climb in the second innings.

Lancashire needed to chase down a total of 349 in the final innings and despite the South African’s century, fell 45 runs short.

“It’s most disappointing to lose the match,” Prince told Lancashire’s official website.

“When their bowlers were getting tired we felt we had a good chance.”

Lancashire, who won the County Championship in 2011, were promoted back to Division One last season.

Having won the toss on day one and put Nottinghamshire in to bat, Lancashire started brightly – reducing Notts to 20-3 thanks largely to two wickets from Anderson.

England international Samit Patel helped Notts recover to a total of 272 all out – a score that was made to look good when Lancashire were skittled for just 144 in their first innings.

Tom Smith top-scored in that total with 42 and proved his all-round qualities in Notts’ second innings by taking 5-53 as Lancashire reduced the home side to 220 all out.

Lancashire started the final day on 7-1, as Luis Reece had been dismissed late on day three, and began in positive fashion through Paul Horton and night-watchman Simon Kerrigan who shared a second wicket partnership of 70.

However Lancashire then lost four wickets for 19 runs in under half an hour to be struggling at 99-5 at lunch.

Another wicket fell after lunch which brought together Prince (100) and Smith (76) who put on 147 for the eighth wicket.

When Smith, Wayne White and Kabir Ali were removed by the second new ball it left Lancashire at 278-9 – still 71 runs short of their target.

Prince sealed his century but was the last wicket to fall as Notts secured the win.

Lancashire coach Peter Moores felt it was a good game but that his side had let Nottinghamshire get 50 or 60 more first innings runs than they should have done.

“It was a great advert for county cricket,” Moores said.

“We’ll be disappointed we got a good start at 20-3 and didn’t bowl as well as we could have done in the middle session.

“We then didn’t bat as well as we could have done in the first innings– that became the difference between the two sides.”

Lancashire start their second Championship game of the season next Sunday against Warwickshire at Old Trafford.

Main image courtesy of Randhir singh via YouTube, with thanks.

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