Fly Emirates v Lancashire, Pro Arch Trophy, Sharjah

Cheetham and Mullaney send Emirates crashing

Mark Pennell

March 23, 2009

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Lancashire 248 for 5 (Mullaney 103, Horton 66, Khurrum Khan 3-38) beat Fly Emirates 48 (Soheb Mujiani 16, Cheetham 5-12, Newby 4-29) by 214 runs

Lancashire swept aside the Fly Emirates part-timers in Sharjah to set up a Roses play-off game on Tuesday to decide which of the rival counties will finish third in the Pro Arch Trophy for 2009. The floodlights at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium had barely warmed up by the time Fly Emirates were dismissed to lose by the landslide margin of 214 runs - the biggest defeat in the three-year history of this event.

Pace did the damage as Steven Cheetham, who is 6ft 5in, took 5 for 12 in tandem with 24-year-old Oliver Newby (4 for 29), as both bowled their 10-over allocation straight through. The only Emirates resistance came late as No.9 in the order, Soheb Mujiani (16) and No.10 Rehan Adil (13) limped into double figures. They were the home batsmen to do so.

Lancashire now face a third placed play-off game against Yorkshire at Sharjah on Wednesday. Man-of-the-match Cheetham, who won a free return flight to Dubai for his troubles, said: "I didn't feel that I bowled too crash hot the other night, so it was nice to make amends. I wasn't too bothered about pace; I was just trying to hit my good lines and lengths because there wasn't too much pace in the track.

Steven Mullaney's 121-ball 103, coupled with another good contribution from Paul Horton - fresh from a century in Abu Dhabi last week - led to Lancashire's 262 for 5. An injury to Mal Loye, who fell down a pothole and twisted his ankle at this ground last week, allowed head coach Peter Moores to experiment at the top of the order and give Mullaney his chance. After scoring his first century of the tour

"I didn't really envisage opening on the tour, but I mentioned to 'Moorsey' [Peter Moores] in a one-on-one meeting with him that I had done it a few times in Australia. When 'Chappie' [captain Glen Chapple] read out the team yesterday and said that I was opening, I was absolutely delighted.

"I took my chance in a way, and hopefully it will lead to more things."

Mark Pennell is a freelance journalist who is covering the Pro Arch Trophy for Cricinfo

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