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County Championship: Notts’ Gurney and Ball unplayable as Lancashire tumble to defeat

LEADING MAN: Nottinghamshire's Harry Gurney. Picture: David Davies/PA.
LEADING MAN: Nottinghamshire's Harry Gurney. Picture: David Davies/PA.
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Lancashire lost their last eight wickets for 15 runs in 60 balls to crash to a six-wicket defeat to newly-promoted Nottinghamshire on a dramatic final morning at Old Trafford.

The Red Rose were eventually bowled out for a second-innings 73 as left-arm seamer Harry Gurney took 6-25 and Jake Ball claimed 4-14.

Requiring just 10 to win, the visitors still managed to lose four wickets in the first 25 balls of their innings before Samit Patel and Riki Wessels calmed matters and completed their side’s win at 12.30pm.

“Extraordinary is probably the right word for it,” said Nottinghamshire coach Peter Moores.

“It was an outstanding hour of cricket by us.

“The quality of the bowling and the quality of the catching was absolutely fantastic. I thought the way Harry Gurney set the tone...he’s bowled brilliantly all game; he’s held length and moved the ball both ways.

It was an outstanding hour of cricket by us. The quality of the bowling and the quality of the catching was absolutely fantastic.

Nottinghamshire coach, Peter Moores.

“And Jake Ball did what Jake Ball can do – if he wanted to make a statement first game of the County Championship then he’s done it with nine wickets in the game.”

Lancashire captain Livingstone admitted his players needed to bounce back quickly from their opening-round disappointment.

“It’s obviously disappointing that we’ve lost the first game,” said Livingstone.

“The Notts bowlers have bowled really well, the pitch has quickened up a little bit.

“I think we played some average shots, but credit to them, they bowled pretty well. It’s been a funny game really, at times the pitch has looked unplayable and at times the pitch has looked pretty good.

“It’s disappointing, but we dust ourselves down and go again next week.”

Fidel Edwards ripped through Worcestershire as Hampshire skittled the newly-promoted side for 127 to win their opening Division One fixture by 196 runs at the Ageas Bowl.

West Indian pace bowler Edwards was handed his county cap before the start of play ahead of taking 3-33, including two wickets in two balls, in a whirlwind morning spell.

Gareth Berg, Brad Wheal, Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott – the latter celebrating figures of 4-45 – also took a wicket each on the final morning to send Hampshire to the top of the Division One table.

Hampshire captain James Vince said: “It is a great start to the season.

“It wasn’t the perfect game by any stretch. We are always looking for perfection, but it was a very good start.”

In Division Two, Gloucestershire wrapped up a five-wicket win over Kent with two sessions to spare in the morning sun at Canterbury.

Resuming on their overnight score of 61-1 and in pursuit of a modest victory target of 108, Gloucestershire wobbled slightly in losing four more wickets before eventually securing the win shortly before noon.

On the back of an impressive bowling display, Gloucestershire travelled home with 19 points, while Kent took three.

David Wiese and Olly Stone took the individual honours as Warwickshire and Sussex had to settle for bonus points from a rain-affected draw at Edgbaston.

Sussex all-rounder Wiese made the first Championship century of the season, a cleanly-hit 106 from 105 balls with 14 fours and three sixes, as his side replied to 299 with 374 all out.

He eventually fell to Stone, the seventh victim for the former Northamptonshire fast bowler who ended with a career-best 8-80 on his home championship debut for Warwickshire.