Head coach Glen Chapple has hailed Tom Bailey’s impact after the Preston seamer’s fast start to the season with Lancashire.
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The former Vernon Carus man took 8-67 in the match as the Red Rose just failed to force home victory in their rain-affected County Championship draw with Surrey at Old Trafford.
The 27-year-old leads the way for Chapple’s men with 16 wickets in three matches with England’s Jimmy Anderson available for the next two rounds, starting at home to Somerset on Friday.
Bailey also hit at career-best 66 with the bat in a game that saw him pass 100 first-class victims with the ball.
“Tom Bailey has shown his attributes,” said Chapple.
“He bowls some lively spells, he’s got the ability to get the ball through, he gets bounce because he’s tall and he controls the seam.
“He can be very miserly when he needs to be. Bowling on a flat pitch he has all the attributes for that.”
After opening with defeats to Nottinghamshire and Essex, the Surrey draw was a big step in the right direction for Lancashire.
The visitors were forced to follow-on on the final day after being bowled out for 235 but managed to hold firm and finish on 199-6, five runs behind Liam Livingstone’s side who had posted an imposing 439-9 declared batting first in what was ultimately a three-day game after Friday was washed out.
The Red Rose required six wickets after tea on the final day but could only claim two as Bailey finished with impressive figures of 4-13 from his 18 overs.
“It was a brilliant performance,” said Chapple.
“The pitch was good. There was a bit in it on the first morning when we were asked to bat first, predictably, and after the first half hour I thought we played magnificent cricket, as good as you will see in this division.
“The effort from the lads was superb throughout, we controlled virtually every session of the match.
“There were some top-class performances, great partnerships and some real resilience and effort over the three days.
“It would have been an unbelievable effort to win in three days on that pitch. If it had gone the four days I think we would have come out on top.
“I think we’ve shown the type of team we are.
“Everyone’s disappointed in the results from the first two games but they were both affected by weather and different types of game.
“The performance here is what we are all about. We can take a lot of confidence from it and move on.
“What pleases a coach the most is the purpose they’ve shown, the fight to win the game and how well they’ve played as a unit.
“Skill levels were high in both departments.”