A THRILLING third day performance from Lancashire saw them earn what could be a Championship-winning victory after seeing off title rivals Hampshire by the barest of margins at Aigburth.

The game turned into a winner takes all clash with Hampshire only needing victory for the silverware, but Lancashire held their nerve on a day of unbelievable tension and got over the line by one wicket.

With Hampshire resuming on 158-7 Lancashire needed quick wickets to keep the target manageable and Tom Bailey obliged, trapping Felix Organ in front for eight before Keith Barker feathered one behind for four.

Bailey’s figures were a career-best seven for 37 with the Preston-born seamer also claiming 50 wickets for the season at 16.86.

Setting a target of 196, it was over to the batters and Alex Davies, playing his final innings in front of the Red Rose faithful before a move to Warwickshire, quickly showed he meant business.

Two consecutive boundaries off Barker and a towering six over mid-on off Liam Dawson’s first delivery were the highlights as the wicketkeeper-batter took the game to Hampshire in typically dynamic fashion.

But as has been the pattern with this game, there was more drama to come and Davies cut a wide one from Barker straight to Mason Crane at point and was out for 44 from 43 balls.

Crane continued to look the most potent of the Hampshire attack and when he had Croft lbw for 20, picking up two more victims when Lamb edged to second slip and Luke Wood was caught at bat pad before the tension became almost unbearable when Crane, who finished with five for 41, ran Bailey out without scoring with just three runs needed.

Jack Blatherwick scrambled a single to keep the strike for another Crane over and the England spinner picked up his fifth wicket when the number 10 edged to Joe Weatherley to bring Matt Parkinson to crease.

With a Hampshire crowd around the bat, the leg spinner negotiated two balls before Vilas swept a four off Dawson to claim the victory, now waiting for news from Birmingham.