|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Ageas Bowl (day two):|
|Hampshire 187 & 178-8: Dawson 37; Gleeson 3-45, Bohannon 3-46|
|Lancashire 273: Jones 68; Edwards 4-72, Holland 3-48|
|Hampshire (3 pts) lead Lancashire (5 pts) by 92 runs – Lancashire relegated|
Lancashire were relegated to Division Two of the County Championship after being bowled out for 273 by Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Nottinghamshire’s two bowling bonus points against Somerset meant Lancashire needed to pass 300 within 110 overs of their first innings to keep their survival hopes alive.
However, after resuming on 123-4, the tail collapsed to the second new ball.
Despite their struggles, the Red Rose could at least end the year with a win.
Good contributions from bowlers Josh Bohannon (3-46) and Richard Gleeson (3-45) left Hampshire on 178-8 at the close of play, a lead of 92 – former home skipper Jimmy Adams having gone for 13 on his final appearance.
Lancashire will go down to the second tier alongside Worcestershire.
Batting struggles lead to Lancashire demise
Sadly for Lancashire, the eventual result of this game is purely academic after they failed to pick up the bonus points needed to keep their slim survival hopes alive.
Captain Liam Livingstone (46) was out to the first ball he faced on the second morning, bowled by a Fidel Edwards yorker, but Rob Jones (68) gave the visitors hope of an unlikely escape.
He was dropped in the slips just before lunch, but was trapped lbw shortly after the interval to leave Lancashire 241-7.
With Nottinghamshire faltering with the bat at Trent Bridge, Josh Bohannon (28) and Tom Bailey (16) pushed Lancashire closer to 300 but they then lost three wickets for no runs and Edwards (4-72) wrapped things up by dismissing Saqib Mahmood lbw.
A tale of two teams
Lancashire are guaranteed to end the 2018 season with 40 bowling bonus points – more than any other team in the top tier – thanks to the efforts of Tom Bailey and Graham Onions.
Seamers Bailey (62) and Onions (57) are the two leading wicket-takers in the division, but it is batting struggles that have contributed to gthe Red Rose demise.
They have failed to pass 200 in 10 of their 23 Championship innings, while only one of their batsmen – England opener Keaton Jennings – has an average above 40 in the four-day game this summer.
Hampshire’s Jimmy Adams:
“It would have been lovely to have made a score of note and contribute to us winning a game but in a way it was a relief to get off the mark in the first place. I didn’t want to finish it with a pair.
“You hope of a nice fairytale like Alastair Cook. You can’t write it and you can’t always get what you want. But I don’t think I have been clapped to the wicket since I was about 10 so it was very good of Lancashire to do that. It was unexpected, but a nice touch.
“It was nice to have my old man at the top of the stairs, that was where I had a wobbly bottom lip. It will probably sink in in November when the rest of the guys are thinking about fitness tests – I’ll probably just grab a coffee and watch on the balcony.
“I might be able to go down in history as the only man whose last scoring shot was a seven. I don’t even remember ever seeing a seven before – and it made up over 50 per cent of my innings.”
Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone:
“At some point, we thought we might be in with a chance of pulling off a miracle but then we knew it had to be a miracle coming into the game.
“The way we’ve played the last two days, no one’s given up. Everyone’s still running in and the way that Bails has bowled there at the end of the day, it shows a lot about us as a team.
“Do I think we’ve been one of the two worst teams? No, I just think, when we’ve been bad we’ve been very bad, and it’s ultimately cost us. If I’m honest, for two out of eight to go down in the top division is tough. It creates pressure all the way through and there is no let-off though the season.
“We will have a think about what we have done this season and hopefully we can improve on it going forward. Next year we are going to have to learn from what we have done but the good thing is we are building a good squad with the young lads coming through.”