Tom Bailey in action for Lancashire © Getty Images
Lancashire 439 for 9 dec (Clark 78, Mennie 68*, Bailey 66, Chanderpaul 65, Croft 62, Virdi 4-80, Dernbach 3-93) drew with Surrey 235 (Borthwick 79, Bailey 4-54, Onions 4-49, Bailey 4-53 ) and 199 for 6 (Foakes 57, Pope 41, Bailey 4-13)
In the end the dogs didn’t quite bark. While there were a few curious incidents, not least Rory Burns breaking his bat in two when defending a ball from Joe Mennie, there was not the grand dénouement for which Lancashire supporters had hoped.
But Surrey’s batsmen did not make survival look elementary; indeed they gave one the impression it was a three-pipe problem. And there was not even a Manchester Particular to hinder them. While cricketers in much of the rest of the country sought the comfort of their firesides Old Trafford offered clear, cold sunlight and a true pitch in its third day of use.
Surrey’s draw was largely achieved by two of their young shavers, Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope, who defied Lancashire’s bowlers for 31 overs either side of tea on this brightest of Monday evenings. Yet had the substitute wicketkeeper, Dane Vilas, taken the simplest of catches when Pope was on 12 in the sixth over of the final session, Lancashire might have had the darbies on the Surrey tail. But the chance went down and the face of Graham Onions, the injured bowler, was a study in scarlet.
Tom Bailey was also flushed of face in the game’s last knockings but that was probably explained by his many successes. Just when Surrey were approaching safety, the seamer took the new ball and had Foakes caught down the leg side for 57. No one could begrudge him a phial of good fortune. In his next over Bailey compelled a shot from Pope and the ball flew off the edge to the safe hands of Livingstone at second slip. There were now eight overs left in the game but Ryan Patel and Sam Curran batted them out. Bailey finished the innings with 4 for 13 from 19 overs and the match with 8 for 67 off 41. All this on top of a career-best 66. Whoever makes way for Jimmy Anderson for Friday’s game against Somerset it will not be Bailey.
Lancashire had also enjoyed some earlier triumphs on this final day. For example, there was a strangulation five balls after lunch but the matter hardly merited detection. Mark Stoneman wafted at a ball from Bailey but only flicked the ball down the leg side where Vilas, who was deputising for the injured Alex Davies, took a straightforward catch. Nearly four overs later the same bowler brought one back in to Scott Borthwick, who did not attempt a shot and was bowled for nought. The case did not go to appeal. Lancashire’s dancing men celebrated happily, forgetting, perhaps, the 26 fruitless overs they had bowled at Surrey’s openers before lunch.
For over an hour Dean Elgar and Rory Burns seemed lost in a brown study. Only 15 runs were added in nearly 50 minutes’ cricket before Livingstone got one to turn and bounce out of the footmarks at the James Anderson End. The ball caught the shoulder of Burns’ bat and Keaton Jennings shimmied across from slip to take the dolly catch. Nearly half an hour later
Elgar stabbed down on a full-length delivery from Jordan Clark which seemed to catch the edge. The appeal preceded the judgement. Richard Kettleborough replaced his white panama with a black cap. Elgar walked slowly away, seemingly protesting his innocence. Tea was taken with Surrey on 103 for 4 and at least 35 overs to be bowled. The game was still afoot.
Nearly two hours later it concluded with the obligatory handshakes, the players perhaps grateful both for the three days’ cricket they had been allowed and the end of a benighted April
Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and other publications
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo