Two remarkable recoveries and two standout performers were crucial to Lancashire’s victory over Surrey at Old Trafford – one which secured second place in Division One for a side who were widely tipped as relegation favourites.
If County Championships were won on grit alone, the title would be being held aloft at Old Trafford this season rather than at Chelmsford.
Lancashire have found themselves in troubling positions throughout the campaign but time and time again have battled their way back.
Surrey were on the receiving end of that in just the second game of the season, when Lancashire found themselves 67-5 before launching a remarkable recovery to post 470 and were at it again in this match.
Steven Croft’s firstinnings century took them to a lead that seemed unlikely after a flurry of prelunch wickets on day two and when Mark Stoneman and Rory Burns put on 154 for the opening partnership, they looked like setting Lancashire a sizeable target.
But that fighting spirit was there again, spearheaded by Liam Livingstone. Lancashire took four wickets in 12 balls for six runs and took all ten Surrey wickets for 88 runs. Livingstone claimed a career-best 6-52, before notching 69 in the successful run-chase.
Lancashire can be very proud of their second place, a success built on their home form. It’s the first time since 2000 they’ve won four matches in a single season at Old Trafford.