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Wickets tumble on enthralling day

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The Champion County match continued to race towards a result as 16 wickets tumbled on day two, leaving MCC 148 ahead of Lancashire, with two wickets remaining.

Simon Kerrigan took three wickets in the last half an hour to turn the match on its head as MCC only managed 6/71 in the final session.

Earlier, Glen Chapple's 42 helped Lancashire recover from 106/7 to post 199 in their first innings and restrict MCC's lead to 67, when it had at one stage threatened to reach triple figures.

And the county champions were arguably on top by the close of the day, as Kerrigan and Tom Smith combined to leave MCC reeling at 81/8.

Batting woes

Batting has proved difficult throughout the match, with Ian Blackwell's unbeaten century in the first innings the only knock to pass 50 - with the Durham man experiencing the polar opposite emotion in the second innings when he departed for a duck.

MCC bowled brilliantly in the first session - often a more comfortable time to bat - in immense sapping heat, taking five Lancashire wickets and conceding barely two runs per over throughout.

Rana Naved took three wickets in the innings, but it was a collective effort which also saw two in an impressive spell from young Somerset quick Lewis Gregory, and two apiece for spinners Gareth Batty and Blackwell.

MCC would have hoped to use the mountains of time remaining in the match to post a massive score, but Sajid Mahmood trapped Rees LBW for a golden duck and added Ramprakash in the last over before the second interval.

Hamish Marshall lived a charmed life in a brisk innings of 31 which included two dropped catches in successive overs, the first a sitter for Paul Horton at first slip, but Chapple trapped him plumb LBW.

That opened the floodgates at 56/3 as Smith quickly removed the left-handed pair of Blackwell and Moeen Ali in an excellent spell of seam bowling, which read 6-4-6-2.

Opener Stephen Peters battled hard for a 90 ball 28 but he was one of three quick wickets for left-arm spinner Kerrigan, whose brilliant spell late set up an absorbing day three.

However Gregory, who hung on for 0 not out at the close, was confident MCC would reach a total they can defend defending.

He said: "We've probably not got as many runs as we'd have liked.

"But I think we're in a good position and if we can get to 200 or more early tomorrow then we'll be happy."

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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