County Championship: Lancashire recover from hopeless position to beat Essex riding on George Balderson's fifer
Lancashire braved all odds against Essex despite being reduced to 7/6 in their second innings of the County Championship 2022 encounter to emerge victorious by 38 runs.
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Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and there have been many instances in the history of this game where a team has gone from a hopeless position to checkmate the oppostion by making a solid comeback with a never-say-die attitude.
One such moment of glory was witnessed during the County Championship Division One 2022 match between Essex and Lancashire at the County Ground in Chelmsford. Lancashire brilliantly recovered from 7/6 in the second innings to hand Essex an agonizing 38-run defeat. Meanwhile, it was George Balderson's impactful hat-trick that made the occasion even more special.
Lancashire snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
While this is a well-deserved win for Lancashire, it is to be noted that their batting performance was disappointing and it was the bowlers that turned out to be the saviors, successfully defending low totals in both innings with George Balderson's hat-trick finding a notable mention.
Batting first, Lancashire innings folded for just 131 runs on the board in the first innings and courtesy of some remarkable performance from Tom Bailey (5/36), Essex were bundled out for only 107 despite the iconic batter Alastair Cook top-scoring with 40.
With a paltry 24-run first innings lead, Lancashire tried to make amends and score as many runs as possible in order to challenge Essex in the fourth innings. Nonetheless, they had to encounter a disastrous start for which they were unprepared.
Lancashire were in total disarray having lost their six wickets for just seven runs on the board. Courtesy of George Bell (24) and Tom Hartley (23), they crawled their way to 73 to set a 98-run target for Essex. In what should have been a walk in the park for Essex, they made a mess of a paltry chase and even Sir Alastair Cook could not help them on this occasion.
George Balderson wreaked havoc with the ball in hand with a devastating fifer. He also accounted for the dangerous Cook and dismissed the likes of Tom Westley, Daniel Lawrence, Matthew Critchley, and, Adam Rossington to finish with figures of 5/14 including three maidens.