England country sides Somerset and Lancashire have tied their County Championship clash in extraordinary circumstances.

Lancashire had set their opponents just 78 to win before two calamitous dismissals for Somerset, with the scores tied, meant they threw away what appeared to be a certain victory.

With Somerset needing just one to win, England international Dom Bess advanced down the track to the slow left-arm of Keshav Maharaj and ran past the ball before Dane Vilas whipped off the bails.

Moments later, fellow international Jack Leach succumbed to the South African in a moment of madness.


Leach took a massive swipe at a full-length ball and, almost inexplicably, holed out to Tom Bailey at long on, sending the visitors into hysteria at Taunton.

There have been only 19 tied matches in the County Championship since the second World War and Wednesday's result, owing to Maharaj's last-innings figures of seven for 37, is the first time it has happened in 15 years.

The game is also crucial in the battle at the top and bottom of the County Championship division one table.

With Somerset surrendering the win, it means they have handed Surrey a massive boost in the race for the title, with just three rounds of fixtures to go.

Conversely, the draw drags Lancashire further away from the foot of the table, where Worcestershire, Yorkshire and Hampshire are all battling to avoid the drop.