August 20, 2003

Hooper shines for Lancashire

Wisden CricInfo staff

National League Division Two

Lancashire 281 for 3 beat Middlesex 278 for 4 by seven wickets

Carl Hooper and Mark Chilton guided Lancashire to their ninth-successive victory in the National League, against Middlesex, to put them back on top of the table. The pair put on an unbroken 90 after Stuart Law and Ian Sutcliffe had laid the foundations in Lancashire's thrilling run-chase. Middlesex's Andy Strauss had earlier smashed 127 from 119 balls, including 17 fours, in his first one-day century. He added 157 with Ed Joyce, who scored 70 from 76, to help set Lancashire the tough task of chasing 279 under the Old Trafford lights. But they made it look easy. Sutcliffe (71) and Law, who lamped 78 from 79 balls with five fours and three sixes, added 155 for the second wicket. Then Hooper (51*) and Chilton (43*) kept up the pace and passed the post with nine balls to spare, much to the delight of a 7,500-strong and boisterous crowd.