County Championship: Lancashire's Richard Gleeson shines as Leicestershire capitulate

Lancashire's Richard Gleeson takes a spectacular return catch to dismiss Leicestershire's Hassan Azad
Richard Gleeson's six-wicket haul included a magnificent return catch to dismiss key man Hassan Azad
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Fischer County Ground, Grace Road (day one):
Leicestershire 155: Rhodes 43, Dearden 30; Gleeson 6-43
Lancashire 2-1: Wright 1-0
Lancashire (3 pts) trail Leicestershire (0 pts) by 153 runs

Richard Gleeson ended with season-best figures of 6-43 as unbeaten Division Two champions Lancashire skittled bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire for 155 on day one at Grace Road.

The paceman removed the top three to leave the hosts 16-3 on his way to a fifth five-wicket haul of the season.

Only George Rhodes (43), Harry Dearden (30) and Callum Parkinson (29) offered a semblance of resistance.

In reply, Keaton Jennings went first ball as Lancashire closed on 2-1.

Jennings, an England Test opener as recently as February, chopped on from Chris Wright at the start of the only two overs that were possible before play was suspended because of bad light at Grace Road.

And although that gave Leicestershire some slim hope of a getting back into the match and earning just a second County Championship win of the season, their dismal batting efforts have already ensured they will finish the season bottom.

Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson marked his first call-up to the England squad for the New Zealand tour by taking 2-31 in his 18 overs, including trapping his brother Callum lbw.

But Gleeson, who has moved onto 47 Championship wickets for the season, was the star turn for the visitors as they look to earn a ninth win from 14 games.

His first spell included a sublime return catch to dismiss opener Hassan Azad and, when Gleeson came back into the attack, he bowled Rhodes with a fine ball that nipped back and also uprooted Harry Swindells' off-stump with a superb full-length delivery.

Leicestershire spinner Callum Parkinson told BBC Radio Leicester:

"I was frustrated not to go on, and especially to get out to my brother. I didn't actually know he'd been selected, but the Lancashire lads mentioned it during an over.

"I'm delighted for him. It's reward for all the hard work he's put in. For me, it's motivation and inspiration. I'll be in Australia this winter, in Adelaide, so I might pop over and see him - as long as he pays for the flights!

"It was tricky first up this morning, swung around a bit and Richard Gleeson in particular bowled really well. He put the ball in the right areas.

"We showed a bit of fight to drag the score up a bit and then picked up a quick wicket. But they showed why they're top. They didn't give us any release balls."

Lancs spinner Matt Parkinson told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"I was actually on the field in mid-over when I found out: Saqib Mahmood, who isn't playing in this match, was on the players' balcony and he shouted the news to me.

"At the end of the over I came down to fine leg and was asking which squad I was in! Then the other lads found out and came over to me to congratulate me.

"I'm very happy and proud. It's an amazing way to finish the season. Hopefully we can stay unbeaten in the Championship.

"We've made a good start to this game in that respect, and then I can start looking forward to the winter."

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