‘Dressing room is buzzing’: Karl Brown wants Lancashire to take momentum from last-ball Essex win

By Ross McLean

Ecstatic batsman Karl Brown is challenging Lancashire to harness the momentum from their second nail-biting victory in as many weeks and take LV=County Championship Division Two by storm.

The Red Rose took advantage of an attacking declaration by Essex skipper James Foster to secure a dramatic victory with only one ball of a pulsating final day remaining.

And Brown – whose 80 second innings runs and third-wicket partnership with Ashwell Prince proved pivotal – admits Lancashire executed their game plan perfectly.

“After that sort of a win, the dressing room really is buzzing and the belief in the team is massive,” he told Lancashire’s official website.

“I just hope that we can carry that on through the rest of the season.

“It was just a case of trying to have a few wickets in hand at the end and we managed to do that.

“It was another brilliant game of cricket and I’m just glad we came out on the right side of it.”

Lancashire appeared to be on the front-foot after dismissing Essex for 226 on day one, with Graham Napier’s unbeaten century the standout contribution as Luke Procter took four wickets.

However, first innings batting frailties once again dogged Peter Moores’ side as the Reds Rose were skittled out for 177, with Gareth Cross top-scoring with 45.

The visitors built a substantial lead until rain ultimately forced Foster’s hand, declaring on 203-3 as England captain Alastair Cook notched 60.

This set Lancashire a target of 253 in 53 overs – reduced to 47 because of bad light – which they achieved despite the early dismissals of Paul Horton and Procter.

And 24-year-old Brown was full of praise for South African Prince, after the pair laid the foundations for Lancashire’s victory with a 169 third-wicket partnership.

“Ashwell has a lot of experience and he was speaking to me all the way through it,” he said.

“He was talking to me and it made my job a lot easier. You just try to keep it simple and keep it ticking over by scoring four or five runs an over.

“I’m pleased to have got a score in a really good run chase, although you need a little bit of luck in a chase like that and we got it.”

The tension mounted as Lancashire lost Steven Croft, Simon Katich and Cross in the match’s penultimate over, with only five runs needed for victory.

And the crazy nature of the clash was complete when ex-Old Trafford favourite Saj Mahmood dropped Wayne White as Lancashire scored the winning runs.

And while thrilled with their 18-point haul from the fixture – which lifts Lancashire to second in the table – Brown was sympathetic towards his former colleague.

“To be honest, Saj is a great mate of a lot of the lads and it’s not nice to see him drop a catch,” he said.

“We won the game so we’re really happy, but it’s not pleasant to see that happen to someone you’re quite close to.”

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