Lancashire end 77-year wait for title
Lancashire won the English County Championship title on Thursday when
they beat Somerset by eight wickets, their first outright triumph since
They chased down 211 during the last session at Taunton while closest
rivals Warwickshire were held to a draw by Hampshire.
Openers Stephen Moore and Paul Horton were the heroes for Lancashire,
combining for 131 in 17 overs before Horton was out for 55. Moore was
next to go by 71 but by that stage the two batsmen had left the Red Rose
county well ahead of the required run rate with 17 overs remaining on a
batting friendly surface. Steven Croft scored an unbeaten 40 and Karl
Brown finished on 33 not out as Lancashire surged home with more than
four overs to spare.
Somerset had threatened to prolong Lancashire's decades-long wait for
a title after Peter Trego scored 120 in a total of 310 all out with
Murali Kartik making an unbeaten 65. However, Lancashire were not to be
denied and when Croft finally hit the winning runs to clinch the
championship by 11 points from Warwickshire he sparked scenes of
"It's an amazing feeling," Lancashire skipper Glen Chapple told Sky
"The boys have been amazing this year, it's been competitive to the
end and we came out on top. We showed tremendous belief today and we can
be really proud.
"Our team spirit's been amazing, we've played good cricket all the
way through and won games many other teams wouldn't have won. "You don't
win it without being good cricketers - whatever people say, this is a
Lancashire director of cricket Mike Watkinson expressed relief that
the county's title jinx had been lifted.
"I'm delighted for this group of people, it's been 77 years but we
can't be held accountable for that history - these lads have been
brilliant and have got their just rewards," Watkinson said.
"It's a relief to our supporters and we can see the joy on
everybody's faces, it means so much to everyone," added Watkinson, who
played for the county for 18 years of their 77-year barren streak.
"It's a new dawn for us, it's a young squad, and we can learn a lot
from how we've won this. They're fit young men who never want to die
wondering and have come of age." LONDON, Sept 15, 2011 (AFP)