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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 September, 2003, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Lancashire clinch D2 title
NCL D2, Northampton: Lancashire 243/1 (36.4 overs) beat Northamptonshire 240 (45 overs)

Lancashire celebrate
Lancashire celebrate a return to the top flight
Lancashire won the National League Division Two title in style, with a nine-wicket victory over Northants.

Mal Loye hit 104 not out against his former team, sharing a 131-run stand with Stuart Law to clinch the win with eight overs to spare.

Phil Jaques hit a solo century as Northants were bowled out for 240.

But the Steelbacks failed to keep the tempo up once the Australian finally fell for a 109-ball 107.

Victory over their only rivals on the final day of the season left Lancs eight points clear at the top of the table.

Loye took just 95 balls over his first National League century in his first year with the Lightning, with 11 fours, including several flicks backward of square on the leg side.

And Law was his usual brutal self in making 79, with nine boundaries.

Northamptonshire: M E K Hussey (Capt), T W Roberts, P A Jaques D J G Sales, J W Cook, G L Brophy, G P Swann, T M B Bailey (Wkt) B J Phillips, M J Cawdron, J F Brown.

Lancashire: M J Chilton, I J Sutcliffe, M B Loye, S G Law C L Hooper, W K Hegg (Capt, Wkt), C P Schofield, G Chapple, G Keedy P J Martin, J Wood.



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