Ashwell Prince hammered a magnificent unbeaten 156, and stood with his old Proteas pal Alviro Petersen in a partnership of 258 as Lancashire chased down Derbyshire’s 370 in the English County Championship on Monday.
The AP Coalition came together when Lancashire had lost two wickets for 18 runs at Stockport and some serious rebuilding was needed. Petersen fell for 113, his second century of the season, but by then the two Saffas had severely dented Derbyshire’s hopes of taking control. And they did it with flair: Petersen faced 176 balls and hit 16 fours, while Prince accelerated to his 156 off 229, with 14 fours and a six, a strike-rate of 68.
It was an innings of great redemption for Petersen, who retired from Test cricket in January and committed himself to Lancashire for two years as a Kolpak player.
And while he has had a lot of experience of English conditions, playing Lancashire League, and for Glamorgan, Essex and Somerset, he has been out of touch recently. He started with a fine 115 in his first match, but then struggled to build an innings, adding only 144 from his next eight turns at the crease. But this century has bolstered his averages and his confidence.
Prince,who played the last of his 66 Tests in 2011, and retired from the Warriors last year, is fulfilling his promise of helping Lancashire return to Division One, and his determination to enjoy himself.
He decided to quit all cricket last year and set up the football academy he always wanted in Port Elizabeth. But he was persuaded to give it one more go, as he too felt there was unfinished business. Now, in nine county innings, he has accumulated 697 runs with three hundreds, three fifties and an average of 99.57.
Prince said at the start of the season: ‘After what happened last year [relegation], I just want to enjoy the season. I just want to play, win matches and enjoy my cricket.’ He seems on course for that.
At the close Lancs were 348-4, 22 behind.
Down the road at Worcester, Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson, along with eight of their team-mates had a day to forget as Durham were skittled out for 198 in reply to Worcestershire’s 323. Jennings had 12 and Richardson five, while only Scott Borthwick stood firm with 103. The leg-spinning batsman is no stranger to lost causes: he was given his only Test appearance in the fifth Test in the Ashes disaster of 2014. He was flown out when Graeme Swann decided, mid-series, he had had enough.
All is not lost though: Worcester have collapsed to 65-6, holding a lead of 190
Even further south, Johann Myburgh made a solid contribution of 41 to a second-wicket stand of 79 with Tom Abell as Somerset set about matching Yorkshire’s 438, in which Alfonso Thomas took 2-90. But all the good work was was undone when Myburgh and Abell fell within five balls, taking Somerset from 84-1 to 164-3.
At the close, the home team were 309-4.
Compiled by Mark Salter