Red Rose launch new Old Trafford era with victory
Lancashire continued their impressive start to the new season with a comfortable Clydesdale Bank 40 20-run win over the ECB Unicorns at a new look Old Trafford yesterday.
History was made with bowling coming from north to south for the first time in a competitive match after the re-orientation of the square as part of the ground’s continued redevelopment.
A 1,600-strong crowd saw bowlers bowl from the Pavilion and Statham Ends – and they also saw the Lightning defend their competitive 201-5 on a slow and low pitch.
Timing was a problem for batsmen on both sides, but Stephen Moore scored 50, Steven Croft 41 and Farveez Maharoof a brisk 38 not out from 27 balls to help take 50 runs from the last five overs of the innings.
Captain Glen Chapple, a shock selection after missing the four-day win over Somerset last week due to a tight calf, then led a strong bowling effort with three wickets to help reduce the Unicorns to 38-3 early in their chase.
He bowled Michael Thornely, had Jackson Thompson caught behind by Gareth Cross and had Chris Benham caught by Paul Horton at first slip.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Farveez Maharoof also took three wickets to help restrict the visitors to 181-9.
Five spinners selected in the match was an early indication that the pitch would be slow, and so it proved.
Left-armers Simon Kerrigan, on his one-day debut, and Stephen Parry bowled miserly spells, while the more experienced Gary Keedy also struck to virtually end hopes of a recovery.
Chapple, who ran in from the Statham End, said: “It was like playing at a new ground.
“It’s probably not as hard as an Old Trafford pitch normally is. It was dry and crusty on top, and we’ll have to see how the games pan out for the rest of the season here.”
Lancashire will be hoping to continue their good start to the season when they face Sussex at Hove in the LV= County Championship tomorrow, who they beat at Liverpool a fortnight ago.