Pitch too good for Hampshire target, insists Lancashire’s Peter Moores after LV County Championship draw

By Ross McLean

Lancashire coach Peter Moores admits his side could not risk a final day declaration on such a good batting pitch as their match with Hampshire ended in stalemate.

The Red Rose gained eight points from their LV=County Championship clash on the south coast to move joint-second in the table alongside Essex.

And while Lancashire have enjoyed rip-roaring finishes to their previous two four-day games, Moores concedes trying to force a result against Hampshire may have proved a gamble too far.

“With the way the pitch was, you’d fancy chasing 250 in 40 on that like we saw in the one-day game,” he told Lancashire’s official website.

“They’d have been thinking all the way through ‘if we just can nick them out, we’ll have a go’. We knew that as well.

“We’d have loved to have had a crack at them, but it wasn’t the sort of pitch on which you were going to bowl a side out in 40 overs.

“They would have nothing to lose because the pitch is good enough that if they had lost two or three wickets quickly, they could have blocked it out.”

Steven Croft and Gareth Cross both recorded their first championship centuries of the summer as Lancashire posted 376-6 on day four before players shook hands on a draw.

Croft was unbeaten on 101 while Cross’ 100 was only his third first-class ton of his career, building on positive knocks against Glamorgan and Essex.

Karl Brown also continued his impressive form with the bat with a useful half-century after the visitors found themselves 27-3 early in their second innings.

In reply to Lancashire’s first innings total of 295, Hampshire had posted 258, with Glen Chapple claiming five wickets and Kyle Hogg four.

Moores’ side were very much in the ascendency having reduced Hampshire to 164-8, but lower-order resistance from Danny Briggs and a knock of 84 from Australian George Bailey slowed progress.

Lancashire’s first innings was dominated by Cypriot Andrea Agathangelou – in the side after Simon Katich was hit on the temple in the nets and taken to hospital.

The 23-year-old recorded his maiden first-class century, with his 208-ball stay at the crease including 17 fours and a six.

Agathangelou built on a half-century from opener Luke Procter as the Old Trafford side posted a competititve score and looked to put pressure on their hosts.

But after removing skipper Jimmy Adams early, Michael Carberry and Liam Dawson steadied the ship.

Kerrigan accounted for Carberry while Hogg snared Dawson before Chapple took centre-stage to reduce Hampshire to 164-8, a period of the game Moores points to being the turning point.

“The only opportunity we probably had to force the win was on Saturday when Glen got the wickets,” he added.

“If we could have whipped through them then and got a hundred lead, then we could have given ourselves a realistic timeframe to push for the win. That didn’t happen.”

However, the 50-year-old former England coach was encouraged by Lancashire’s second-innings centurions, with Gloucestershire next up in the LV=County Championship on Wednesday.

He said: “On the positive side, for Gareth Cross to get some time middle and Steven Croft to get some runs under his belt was great.”

Image courtesy of Home of Cricket, via YouTube, with thanks

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