Lancaster helped to victory by rain rule

Iain Perrieman bowls for Lancaster.
Iain Perrieman bowls for Lancaster.

Lancaster picked up a vital 12 points after the rain rule came to their aid at home to Netherfield on Saturday.

It was a happy return for Ben Simm who won the toss on his comeback from suspension and elected to bowl first.

Netherfield’s opening partnership of Ben Barrow and Mac Brown has been a prolific one thus far this season, and their form continued as Iain Perrieman and Liam Moffat struggled to find a breakthrough.

Once again Lancaster’s catching was partly to blame for the initial wicket drought, however the deadlock was eventually broken when Michael Barry replaced Moffat and castled Barrow playing back for 29.

It was Barry who lifted the Lune Road men as Lancaster clawed their way back into the innings with Ben Phillips and Brown trapped lbw after drinks.

Netherfield professional Saliya Saman called on his fond memories of Lune Road earlier in the season by carrying the visitors’ innings while wickets fell around him.

Simm trapped the dangerous John Huck lbw sweeping before former Lancaster youngsters Joe Atkinson and Tom Williamson fell in quick succession to the extra pace of Perrieman.

Saman kept the total moving inexorably past 150 with regular boundaries despite Netherfield’s gradual collapse. Bradley Earl gave Perrieman his third, chipping to Dylan Conroy at cover while Mark Clarkson was clean bowled by the returning Barry but crucially Saman remained.

Simm felt the pressure of over-rates and so kept himself on for 19 overs. He was rewarded with a second wicket as a Ryan Wilson heave found fresh air but arguably by then the damage was done. Netherfield finishing on 183-9 with Saman unbeaten on 48 and Michael Barry picking up an impressive 4-31.

With the pitch misbehaving Jamie Heywood and Barry made a steady start before Clarkson got one to nip back through Heywood’s defences, 24-1.

The door was opened to Netherfield as Alex Metcalfe and Charlie Swarbrick both fell without troubling the scorers, the latter sustaining a nasty blow to the face before departing to a pacy Clarkson the following ball.

Sam Moorby and Barry took the score to 60-3 after 20 overs before the rains delayed the game for over an hour. After suffering at the hands of the rain rule earlier in the year, it was Lancaster’s turn to reap the benefits of the regulation changes.

With the total revised to 76 required from 13 overs, it was now a walk in the park for the hosts. Barry found excellent support in the shape of Moorby who opened up with a lofted straight drive followed by a maximum onto the banking.

Both ran Netherfield ragged in the deep as the rate dropped from six-an-over to a more accommodating four and a half.

Barry brought up his fourth league half century with a nidge into the off-side as Lancaster closed in on a shock victory.

Bradley Earl threatened to throw a spanner in the works, trapping Barry leg-before for 56 to end an excellent 81 run partnership before dismissing Perrieman in the same manner to test the nerves of the Lancaster 
balcony.

Moorby stood firm however, deservedly knocking off the winning runs with two overs still remaining, finishing with an excellent 43 not out. Lancaster winning by five wickets.

The Lune Road men will look to carry their good form to Chorley net Saturday following the controversial match abandonment earlier in the season.