County Championship: Lancashire bat all day to win promotion

Steven Croft
Steven Croft has hit 797 Championship runs this summer
LV= County Championship Division Two, Spitfire Ground St Lawrence
Kent 570-8 dec: Northeast 139, Key 113; Clark 3-87
Lancashire 259 & 258-4: Croft 72 not out, Davies 58 not out; Tredwell 1-17
Kent 12 pts, Lancashire 8 pts
Match drawn
Match scorecard

Lancashire won promotion back to Division One after securing the draw they needed against Kent at Canterbury.

The visitors, who were relegated last season, only lost two wickets on the final day as their innings was anchored by captain Steven Croft's unbeaten 72.

Haseeb Hameed made 44 and Alex Davies hit 58 not out as Lancashire reached 258-4 when the captains shook hands.

Lancashire will be joined by Surrey in the top flight after they also clinched promotion on Friday.

The Red Rose county, who have only lost once in the Championship this summer, needed just five points from the match to make a return to Division One.

Lancashire - the yo-yo years
After winning the County Championship in 2011, Lancashire were relegated to Division Two in 2012. They won promotion in 2013, but were relegated again the following season.

Lancashire, who won the T20 Blast last weekend, missed out on securing maximum batting bonus points which would have taken them up on Thursday after being bowled out for 259 in their first innings, but they showed far more resistance second time around.

It was initially led by 18-year-old Hameed who, playing in just his second first-class match, batted for more than three hours and faced 138 balls before his stumps were sent flying by Calum Haggett.

The wickets of Hameed and Ashwell Prince (39) either side of lunch left Lancashire 138-4, but any nerves were steadied by Croft and wicketkeeper Davies who batted for the best part of two sessions.

Croft faced 209 balls and 21-year-old Davies stood firm for 153 deliveries as they put on an unbroken 120 for the fifth wicket, with Kent spinner James Tredwell sending down 20 overs for just 17 runs.

Lancashire play Surrey, who leapfrogged them at the top of the table following their win over Derbyshire, at Old Trafford beginning on 14 September in what could be a title-deciding game.

Tweet from Kate Cross of England women's team

Lancashire cricket director and head coach Ashley Giles:

"It was a strange week because we should be absolutely over the moon, but there are parts of this game that we're a bit disappointed with how we've played.

"It's probably our worst game in the Championship, although we've come away with a draw. We lost to Gloucester at home, but probably played better cricket.

"We've done what we came to achieve, which at the start of the year was promotion and winning the T20 at the start of the week was an amazing feeling for everyone.

"Today, I thought they were brilliant. This morning we asked for that resilience and fight. Good sides win a lot, but they also become very difficult to beat. Those four guys, particularly, I thought it was a really fantastic effort."

Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens:

"To be fair, they batted brilliantly and we've already spoken about how many of our lads would have the temperament to do the same thing.

"It was a great effort."

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