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Lancashire wrap up victory Published: 29 March 2012

Paul Horton's half century helped Lancashire ease to a six-wicket victory over MCC in the Champion County fixture in Abu Dhabi.

Horton, in a 98-run partnership with Luke Procter, helped Lancashire recover from 11/2 in pursuit of 152 for victory to complete a stunning turnaround in the match, after MCC had posted a 67-run first innings lead.

The batsmen looked comfortable at the crease after the poor start as MCC's bowlers toiled in soaring temperatures, with surprisingly little on offer from the pitch.

Lancashire first ever Champion County victory comes 78 years since they were last outright champions of England.

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MCC earlier lost their last two second innings wickets for just three runs to be bowled out for just 84, with Glen Chapple and Simon Kerrigan making light work of Rana Naved and Alan Richardson.

Kerrigan finished with figures of 4/31 in the innings and 8/96 in the match to cap a fine personal performance with the ball for the young left-arm spinner, who will now be pushing Gary Keedy for the right to be Lancashire's no.1 spin option.

MCC's batsmen meanwhile were left to rue a spectacular batting collapse which saw them lose their last eight wickets for just 28 runs.

Their bowlers did briefly threaten to continue the avalanche of wickets which had moved the game on quickly on the second day.

Ian Blackwell made the breakthrough, tempting Stephen Moore down the pitch in his first over, deceiving the opener in the flight to have him caught at extra cover.

Lewis Gregory then produced a beautiful full away swinger with his first ball of the innings, which took out Karl Brown's off stump.

Procter and Horton staged a textbook recovery though, wearing down the MCC attack and picking off the runs with some ease as their confidence grew.

Horton departed for a fine 58 - one of only two scores of more than 50 in the match - with the score on 109, but the county champions were by then in a hugely dominant position.

And despite also losing Procter to Blackwell for 47, Steven Croft provided an aggressive late cameo to snuff out any thoughts of another dramatic turnaround, and Lancashire ensured their season started with victory.

Teams
MCC
Lancashire
 
Stephen Peters
Stephen Moore
 
Gareth Rees
Paul Horton
 
Mark Ramprakash (capt)
Karl Brown
 
Hamish Marshall
Steven Croft
 
Moeen Ali
Luke Procter
 
Ian Blackwell
Tom Smith
 
Niall O'Brien (wk)
Gareth Cross (wk)
 
Lewis Gregory
Glen Chapple (capt)
 
Gareth Batty
Sajid Mahmood
 
Rana Naved
 Simon Kerrigan
 
Alan Richardson
Gary Keedy
 


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