County Championship: Jack Leach helps Somerset draw with Lancashire

Jack Leach
Jack Leach surpassed his previous best score of 52 in first-class cricket
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford (day four):
Somerset 429 & 269-8d: Leach 66, Davies 54; Parkinson 5-101
Lancashire 492: Vilas 235*, Jennings 109; Abell 4-43
Lancashire (11 pts) drew with Somerset (10 pts)

Jack Leach made a first-class best of 66 as Somerset recovered from a wobble to secure a draw against Lancashire in County Championship Division One.

Lancashire sensed the possibility of a win when leg-spinner Matt Parkinson (5-101) reduced Somerset to 145-6.

But England spinner Leach stood firm with Craig Overton and Tim Groenewald (36 not out) to help his side to 269-8 and handshakes at 16:50 BST.

Lancashire claimed 11 points from the draw, while Somerset take 10.

Somerset began the final day at Old Trafford on 51-0, but Lancashire started well when Parkinson had Matt Renshaw (20) caught and Jimmy Anderson pinned George Bartlett lbw to claim his only wicket in the match.

Parkinson dismissed Steven Davies (54), James Hildreth (26) and Tom Abell to gut Somerset's batting order, but the hosts were then frustrated by the tail end as time and overs ran out.

Leach struck 10 fours and a six in his 131-ball stay to push the score on in vital partnerships with Overton and Groenewald before becoming Parkinson's fifth victim.

Despite his late dismissal, Leach had done enough to dispel any thoughts of a run chase for the hosts, leaving last year's runners-up Lancashire without a win from their opening four games, while Somerset are unbeaten and in second place in the early Division One table.

Lancashire spinner Matt Parkinson:

"It was obviously frustrating. It was a big ask to try and get 10 wickets in one day on quite a placid track when only 20 had fallen in the first three.

"For Dane to get a double hundred was fantastic and for us to have a glimmer of hope at tea on day four was fantastic.

"When we got Abell and then we got Craig Overton we had hopes of forcing something but fair play to Leachy. For a number nine or 10, he did very well."

Somerset skipper Tom Abell:

"We were a little bit twitchy there at a few stages. It was a tough four days of cricket and we had to work really hard. From the position we had during the first innings we were a bit disappointed to finish in the manner we did.

"We were under pressure and the wicket started to spin. The pressure built but I have to pay tribute to Jack Leach and his partnerships with Tim and Craig. We've asked for character and fight so to see him step up in the way he did was fantastic.

"Marcus Trescothick was prepared to bat with a broken foot. That tells you everything you need to know about Tres."

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