Marnus Labuschagne’s highest score of a difficult summer, an unbeaten 63, ended county cricket’s only remaining unbeaten record as Glamorgan chased 188 to beat Lancashire by six wickets at Sophia Gardens shortly before 12.30pm on day three.
The much-vaunted Australian had not previously posted a fifty in seven Championship innings in 2021. However, his eighth delivered the goods – a high tempo 72-ball knock navigating reverse swing from seamers including Saqib Mahmood.
Labuschagne has been a shadow of the player who dominated county attacks in early 2019, yet here navigated a pitch Lancashire’s Alex Davies described as “substandard” at the close on Friday. He also posted 44 in the first innings.
The Queenslander said: “It was nice to be out there for the winning runs. To do it the fourth innings when the ball has gone reverse, which is exciting to play against because it is something we don’t get much of in Australia in domestic cricket, was very satisfying.”
Glamorgan’s second win came as they advanced from 137 for three overnight, chasing the fixture’s highest score. However, they still have an uphill task to claim a top two finish in Group Three ahead of Lancashire, Yorkshire and the other contenders, Northamptonshire.
Lancashire, the leaders, had hoped to take a significant step towards the top group, but they may be only four points clear of Yorkshire at the end of this round with two still to play and Scarborough to visit next month.
Dawid Malan showed his rounded class with a serene 199 for Yorkshire as they seek victory over Sussex at Headingley. They claimed a first-innings lead of 245 midway through the evening before Sussex closed on a sturdy 38 without loss.
In his first four-day appearance since last August, when he scored 219 in a Bob Willis Trophy draw against Derbyshire here, the left‑hander punished an inexperienced attack to move from 103 overnight before being bowled by off-spinner Jack Carson after lunch for the second 199 of his career.
Malan, who played the last of his 15 Tests in August 2018, missed out on becoming the first Yorkshire player to score double hundreds in two consecutive innings.
Warwickshire went top of Group One with a 191-run win at Derbyshire, who were bowled out for 121 in their second innings. Oliver Hannon-Dalby took four for 24 to secure a fourth win.
Gloucestershire’s strong position at the Group Two summit has been eroded with back-to-back defeats, this latest against Leicestershire at Grace Road. The home side won by an innings and 93 as the left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson returned career-best match figures of 10 for 108.
Somerset will hope to leapfrog Gloucester with a home win over Hampshire. Half-centuries in the second innings for Steve Davies, Tom Abell and George Bartlett secured a lead of 372 and counting.
Essex and Nottinghamshire, two contenders at the top of Group One, look likely to play out a draw at Chelmsford, while Durham are far from out of the equation having won at Worcestershire chasing 86.
Kent, for whom Ollie Robinson scored 120, are playing out a rainy high-scoring game with Northamptonshire at Canterbury in Group Three. That is on course for a draw assuming there is no final day contrivance.