SURREY’S attempt to beat Lancashire and thereby clinch the Division Two title were frustrated at Emirates Old Trafford as the match between the top two ended in a draw.

Needing a purely notional 492 to win, Lancashire ended the final day of the game on 195 for seven off 84.3 overs after 18-year-old Haseeb Hameed had made an outstanding 91 in only his third championship match.


Hameed batted all but three overs of the day’s play and faced 234 balls on a day which also provided another illustration of the precocious talents possessed by Surrey’s Tom and Sam Curran.

Tom, the elder Curran, took three for 46 as if in reply to the England selectors who had failed to select him for any of this winter’s representative squads. Sam took just the one wicket but it was that of Hameed, who was caught at leg slip three overs before the players came off for bad light when they were still nine overs left in the game.

The players finally shook hands at 5.45, leaving Surrey eight points ahead of Lancashire going into the final games in which Surrey entertain Northamptonshire and Lancashire visit Essex.

The morning began badly for Lancashire who lost three wickets in just over an hour, the first wicket falling to the tenth ball of the morning when Karl Brown was leg before to Tom Curran for 16.

The other two wickets in the session were taken by Matt Dunn, who had Alviro Petersen brilliantly caught by Rory Burns at third slip for 13 and Ashwell Prince caught at slip by Kumar Sangakkara for 11 in the South African’s final innings at Old Trafford.

The South African received a standing ovation from the crowd at Emirates Old Trafford and warm applause from the Surrey players. However, attention then quickly shifted to Surrey’s attempt to win the title less than 48 hours before they play Gloucestershire in the final of the Royal London One-Day Cup at Lord’s Lancashire had the best of the afternoon session and were 163 for four at tea with Hameed unbeaten on 76 and Phil Mustard on nought not out. The one wicket to fall was that of Steven Croft, who was caught behind by Ben Foakes off a fine ball from Tom Curran after making a diligent 40.

Despite Mustard being caught by Sangakkara off Dunn shortly after the resumption, it seemed likely that the game would end in a draw when the players came off for bad light. However, after a 40-minute break, the players returned and Lancashire lost both Jordan Clark and Hameed in a tense conclusion to the season at Emirates Old Trafford.

Lancashire’s head coach and director of cricket was pleased with the fight shown by his side, but unhappy they had got themselves in that position.

“I am delighted that for two games in a row now we have shown a lot of fight,” he said.

“But, it is disappointing we are in that position again. I really didn’t think we were at the races in this game. It was such a big too.

“We really have to be careful we aren’t just falling over the line here.

“We are still in it, Surrey are quiet clearly in pole position going into the last round of games. It is concerning because this is only a step, this isn’t job done.

“We have won the T20, we have won promotion – but we can’t relax and slap ourselves on the back amd say aren;t we brilliant. This is just a step in us improving and becoming the best team in the country. That is where we have to be aiming.

“Every match we play, the players have to be up for it. It didn’t think we were that good in this game. The best teams win things, and drive on to win the next thing.

“Naturally, winning lasts a short time because there is always the next challenge around the corner. If we want to compete in Division One, we can’t have games like this. We will lose them. Ultimately, this is what we are paid to do.”