Lancashire see out day four in draw with Notts

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Lancs 276 & 304-7

Notts 474

Haseeb Hameed’s second first class hundred of the season ensured Lancashire comfortably secured a draw in their Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The Red Rose’s talented 19-year old opener enhanced his blossoming reputation with a 388-minute act of defiance as he reached a career best score of 122 to help his side to safety.

When the captains agreed on a handshake, with 11 overs remaining in the final hour, Lancs were on 304 for seven, a lead of 106.

Hameed and his opening partner Tom Smith had put on 151 for the first wicket, taking a mighty chunk out of the home side’s first innings advantage of 198.

Nottinghamshire’s only realistic hope of forcing a win on the final day would have been through early wickets from Stuart Broad or Imran Tahir but both were resisted, although only seven runs came from the first nine overs.

On a benign surface, that offered very little assistance to the quick bowlers, Notts wicketkeeper Riki Wessels even stood up to Broad during the second part of his opening spell.

The only wicket to go down during the morning was that of Tom Smith, who bettered his first innings 70 by one run, before nicking Harry Gurney low to Steven Mullaney at second slip.

Armed with a second new ball Broad was a different proposition after lunch and he breathed life into a dying contest by snaring two wickets in the same over at the start of the afternoon. Armed with the second new ball he removed Luke Procter from around the wicket, trapping the left-hander lbw for 13.

Alviro Petersen hit his first ball for four but fatally elected not to play at his third delivery and the England quick demolished his stumps spectacularly.

Hameed was caught behind off Hutton, having faced 284 balls and hit 17 fours, and the same bowler then persuaded Liam Livingstone to prod tamely to Michael Lumb at mid on.

Lancashire’s pedestrian run rate only brought them 43 runs during the afternoon, so they entered the final session with an advantage of only 51 and they looked in serious trouble when Tahir had Karl Brown brilliantly caught at short leg by Brendan Taylor.

Jordan Clark only made 11 but he defended stubbornly for over an hour before chopping Gurney on.

Tahir whirled and wheeled his way through 45 overs of mesmerising leg spin and remained a threat throughout but Steven Croft’s battling 34 from 141 deliveries kept him and his colleagues at bay.

The draw condemned Nottinghamshire to their ninth consecutive championship match without a victory but the 13 points increases their cushion over the bottom two.

Lancashire reward for their spirited rearguard was a total of nine points, leaving them one point behind Middlesex at the top of the Division One table.

Notts captain Steven Mullaney said: “I’m so proud of the effort that has been put in over the last five or six hours.

“We spoke this morning about making opportunities, I thought we did that at little periods but we just didn’t have enough in the tank to get the last three wickets.

“Fair play to Lancashire. I thought Hameed deserves a lot of credit, I thought he played fantastically and so did Tom Smith, until we got him.

“I thought we had little sniffs but it wasn’t to be but they should all be very proud of themselves over what they’ve done over the last four days.”

Notts’ director of cricket Mick Newell added: “It was the sort of situation where we needed Lancashire to come into the day two or three wickets down and you’d be confident. But none down it was hard wicket and we only managed to get one wicket before lunch.

“Stuart Broad showed his quality, he’s been terrific over the four days and as usual he’s given us one hundred per cent commitment and he bowled a skilful spell which gave us a tantalising glimpse.

“Imran toiled away, I doubt anyone has bowled 45 overs in an innings here since the days of Stuart MacGill. It turned slowly, so batsmen had time to adjust.”