Lancashire’s batsmen took just 75 minutes and 17 overs to wrap up an eight-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire in their opening Specsavers County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford today.
Despite losing both openers inside the first nine overs of the morning, Steven Croft’s batsmen were rarely in trouble and the pace of scoring was in marked contrast to the other three innings of the game.
Alviro Petersen finished the match on 31 not out off 25 balls while Luke Procter hit four fours in his unbeaten 45-ball 35 and ended the game by whacking Samit Patel over midwicket for six.
Nevertheless, there were two successes for Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball to enjoy.
In the first over of the morning Karl Brown hit two fours before being leg before wicket playing no shot to Ball for the second time in the match.
Eight overs later Haseeb Hameed was caught low down at slip by Riki Wessels off Ball for nine, although there seemed some doubt as to whether the ball had carried and the batsman waited for the umpires to confer before walking off the field.
Nottinghamshire’s chances of staging a remarkable fightback got no better than that, although Harry Gurney dropped Procter at long leg off Stuart Broad when the Lancashire left-hander had made 11.
Ball’s 2-29 left him with match figures of six for 92 and the uncapped Mansfield seamer was the pick of a Nottinghamshire attack which was full of international quality.
Lancashire take 22 points from the game while Nottinghamshire receive three.
The result is a setback for Chris Read’s team, who have now followed their victory over Surrey with a defeat.
For their part, Steven Croft’s players will be encouraged by the quality of their cricket at the beginning of a season in which some pundits have tipped them to struggle.
Lancashire played some exhilarating cricket in this match and did not lose any of the 10 sessions.