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Day 4 of 4
Match Drawn

Gloucs vs Lancashire

County Championship: Lancashire seal Division Two title

Crowned: Lancashire celebrate after securing promotion with a game to spare

Lancashire secured the County Championship Division Two title on Friday as they took nine points from their drawn match against Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Captain Glen Chapple received the trophy from England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Collier at the end of the rain-affected fixture.

Gloucestershire started the final day 90-3 in their first innings, in response to 310-8 declared. The hosts were dismissed for 209 as Tom Smith and Oliver Newby took four wickets apiece for Lancashire.

Lancashire found themselves 195-2 in their second innings when the players shook hands at 4:20pm. Luis Reece fell three short of a maiden first-class century, while opener Paul Horton marked his 31st birthday with a fine knock of 55.

Northamptonshire had to beat Kent to keep the race for the title alive; but that match always looked set for a draw on the final day and Lancashire could celebrate ahead of their final fixture against Kent at Canterbury.

Alex Gidman and Hamish Marshall started the day by extending their fourth-wicket stand to 84 before Marshall was caught at cover for 26, trying to force Newby off the back-foot.

Collapse

It signalled a collapse by the home side to 155-9 as Smith sent back Alex Gidman (45), Benny Howell, Will Gidman and Craig Miles in an inspired spell from the Ashley Down Road End, while Newby removed Gloucestershire's Tom Smith.

A spirited last-wicket partnership of 54 between Matt Taylor (26 not out) and David Payne (16) saw the home side to an unlikely batting point.

Gloucestershire required six runs to avoid the follow-on when last man Taylor strode out and the 19-year-old confidently dispelled that fear with a cover driven four off Smith, his first runs in Championship cricket.

The match could only peter out into a draw as Lancashire returned to the crease with a 101-run lead. Horton and Reece put together an opening stand of 107 before Horton was caught at mid-on off left-arm spinner Smith, having hit nine fours in his 91-ball innings.

The visitors were 133-1 at tea, with stylish left-hander Reece having continued his remarkable run of consistency on 56 not out, his eighth half-century in nine innings.

The 23-year-old could only look to the skies in disbelief when he was bowled by Payne for 97, off what proved to be the final ball of the game, having hit nine fours and a six.

Match Details

Date
17th - 20th Sep 2013
Toss
Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bowl.
Venue
County Ground, Bristol
Umpires
P Willey, M R Benson

lancashire BATTING CARD

Batsman R
P.J. Horton c Howell b Smith 55
L.M. Reece b Payne 97
A.G. Prince Not out 40
Extras 3lb 3
Total Declared, 46.3 Overs 195 - 2
Full Batting Card

gloucs BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
D.A. Payne 11.3 0 53 1
M.D. Taylor 5 0 20 0
B.A.C. Howell 12 0 48 0
T.M.J. Smith 16 0 61 1
C.D.J. Dent 2 0 10 0
Full Bowling Card