Alviro Petersen’s 83 and Steven Croft’s 71 not out were the features of Lancashire’s healthy opening day with the bat against Somerset at Taunton today.
The Red Rose, looking to build on their opening round Specsavers County Championship win over Nottinghamshire just under a fortnight ago, opted to toss, won it and elected to bat before reaching 295-4 from 97 overs at close.
Petersen hit eight fours and two sixes in 140 balls at the crease and Croft six fours and two sixes in his 139-ball knock.
Petersen, who contributed 48 and 31 not out to the win against Notts, has started the summer strongly after an excellent domestic campaign back home with the Lions, most notably scoring five one-day hundreds between October and February.
Brown’s 47 was the other innings of substance for the county on a flat Taunton track, although Hameed looked confident for 29 and Luke Procter added 26 from number three.
Alex Davies will resume tomorrow on 32 not out having started nicely following Petersen’s exit.
Petersen and captain Croft shared a crucial 125 inside 33 overs for the fourth wicket either side of tea.
When they came together, Lancashire were 125-3 in the 51st over, with the hosts sensing a route back into proceedings.
Hameed had driven Leach to cover, Brown trapped lbw by the same man and Procter trapped lbw by Tim Groenewald.
But they averted any danger with some controlled batting and classy strokeplay before pressing the accelerator before the second new ball was taken at 80 overs.
Petersen lofted the impressive left-arm spin of Jack Leach, who finished with 2-67 from 25, over long-off for six and drove Tim Groenewald beautifully through the overs.
Shortly before that said boundary, Croft shimmied down the track and sweetly drove Leach for four.
The pair brought up their 50 partnership shortly after tea, while Petersen’s half-century came off 95 balls with five fours and the six.
Lancashire’s 200 came up in the 74th over when Croft slog-swept Leach for six in front of square before lofting him long-on a couple of overs later to move to 44.
By this stage, Somerset’s bowling was starting to waver.
Leach had been miserly either side of lunch, but was now leaking a few runs, while Jamie Overton’s short-ball tactics against Petersen and Croft were not working.
Petersen’s second six, uppercut over backward point against Overton, took him to 75 and brought up the century stand inside 27 overs at 230-3 in the 77th.
Croft reached his first fifty of the campaign off 89 balls with three fours and his two sixes just before the new ball was taken.
The new ball did the trick for Somerset as Craig Overton trapped Petersen lbw in the 83rd over, leaving the score at 250-4.
Liam Livingstone scored a brilliant maiden first-class century as his and Lancashire’s excellent start to the new season continued against Somerset at Taunton on Day Two.
Thirty four overs were lost to the weather on day two of this Specsavers County Championship fixture, although the Red Rose advanced from 295-4 from 97 overs overnight to 493-9 declared from 151
Livingstone finished with 108 not out from 152 balls with nine fours and two sixes in only his second first-class innings.
The declaration allowed Lancashire’s bowlers six overs at the Somerset openers Marcus Trescothick and Tom Abell, but they came through unscathed to reach 14-0.
Captain Steven Croft fell for 94 this morning when he edged Roelof van der Merwe’s left-arm spinners behind, leaving the score at 354-6 after 116 overs.
He shared 59 for the sixth wicket with Livingstone, who took on the lead role and built on his skipper’s innings and that of Alviro Petersen, who made 83 yesterday.
Lancashire, who claimed three batting bonus points to Somerset’s one bowling point, missed out on two batting points for not reaching 350 in 110 overs.
But they still pressed on towards 500 as Livingstone and Kyle Jarvis shared 80 inside 19 overs for the ninth wicket.
The pair also shared 69 in the first innings of the win against Nottinghamshire.
Cumbrian Livingstone, 22, has made a “dream” start to his first-class career.
An ever-present in last season’s T20 Blast title-winning team, he scored 70 in the round one win over Notts a fortnight ago.
Here, he reached 100 off 139 balls with nine fours and two sixes, including one huge maximum over deep mid-wicket against Jack Leach’s left-arm spin to move from 90 to 96.
Lancashire lost Alex Davies in the opening over of the day when he edged the impressive Tim Groenewald behind for 32, leaving the score at 295-5 - the visitors had not added to their overnight total.
Croft launched Leach over long-on as he moved towards an eleventh first-class century, but it was not to be as he edged the other slow left-armer, Roelof van der Merwe behind.
No play was possible between 12.45pm and 4.15pm due to rain, leaving 38.4 overs to be bowled following the resumption.
When play was initially stopped, the Red Rose were 372-6 in the 121st over.
Livingstone reached a 79-ball fifty early in the evening session, including five fours and a six over mid-wicket off Leach.
Neil Wagner became the third wicket to fall. The New Zealander was stumped off van der Merwe not long after Livingstone’s fifty was secured, and the wicket left Lancashire at 386-7 in the 128th.
And when Jimmy Anderson was caught at second slip off Craig Overton, the score was 399-8 in the 131st.
Somerset have bowled tidily for the majority of the innings, but it was only when Livingstone and Jarvis united that things started to become really ragged in good batting conditions.
Livingstone played strongly on both sides of the wicket, but particularly the on-side, unfurling some fierce strokes.
Lancashire’s hopes of forcing victory against Somerset at Taunton are very much alive after an impressive bowling performance during today’s third day.
Somerset were made to follow-on 180 runs behind just before close, and they faced one over in their second innings without scoring.
Although Lancashire are on top, their hopes of a second Specsavers County Championship win on the bounce were dented somewhat by an eighth-wicket century partnership between James Hildreth and Jamie Overton.
Hildreth’s 130 was integral to a home recovery from 150-7 to 313 all out in reply to 493-9 declared.
Hildreth hit 15 fours in 204 balls and Overton finished with 51, while Jimmy Anderson and Simon Kerrigan took three wickets apiece for the visitors.
Overseas bowler Neil Wagner also claimed two wickets, and despite the flat nature of the Taunton pitch. he remains confident of the victory.
Wickets have been hard to come by during the first three quarters of the clash, so there is a lot of hard work to do.
Anderson tested that theory by taking three wickets in five balls just after lunch as Somerset slipped from 102-2 to 102-5 in the 43rd over of the innings.
Captain Chris Rogers, whose 55 represented his first fifty for the county, was one of the three wickets to fall to Anderson.
The left-handed Aussie was caught at one of two short covers by Karl Brown after a long discussion between Anderson and Steven Croft over the field placing.
Roelof van der Merwe fell lbw for a golden duck next ball before, three balls later, Peter Trego fell the same way for a duck.
Only two wickets fell this morning; Marcus Trescothick caught and bowled by Kyle Jarvis with his first ball of the morning, the seventh in all, and Tom Abell lbw to the impressive Kerrigan, who finished with 3-63 from 34 overs.
Kerrigan later picked up his second wicket, and the sixth of the innings, when Ryan Davies was stumped as the score fell to 143-6 after 56.
Jarvis also picked up his second when Craig Overton was bowled with one that kept low with 150 on the board in the 59th.
At that stage, Lancashire were on the march.
But Hildreth and Jamie Overton batted nicely against old and new balls to take valuable time out of the contest during their stand of 139 inside 30 overs either side of tea.
Hildreth reached his fifty off 102 balls shortly before tea as Somerset reached 200 for their first batting bonus point.
He brought up his hundred off 169 balls with 12 fours midway through the evening as Somerset approached 300. By that stage, he and Overton had brought up their century stand.
Overton reached 50 off 89 balls, but fell next ball caught behind to Wagner - 289-8 in the 88th over and still 55 away from avoiding the follow-on.
Kerrigan picked up his third wicket when Jack Leach was caught at short-leg by Croft, leaving the score at 307-9 in the 94th over, with almost nine more to bowl in the day.
Hildreth fell to Wagner to wrap up the innings when he holed out to deep mid-wicket, where Jarvis took a tumbling catch.
Nightwatchman Tim Groenewald opened the Somerset second innings and saw out an Anderson over
Marcus Trescothick’s unbeaten 60th first-class century contributed heavily to thwarting Lancashire’s bid for a victory over Somerset at Taunton today.
The former England opener and ex-county captain secured a Specsavers County Championship draw after the hosts, following-on, started day four on 0-0 and 180 runs behind.
Trescothick saw night-watchman Tim Groenewald fall in the eighth over and Tom Abell in the 22nd as the score slipped 61-2.
But he gained valuable support from Chris Rogers, his replacement as the Somerset skipper ahead of the new season, as the hosts finished on 229-2 from 86 overs.
The left-handed pair shared an unbroken 168 partnership inside 65 overs for the third wicket, batting through the afternoon and shortened evening sessions.
Trescothick hit 129 from 254 balls and Rogers 75 from 199 as Lancashire had to settle for eleven points to Somerset’s nine.
This has, overall, proved to be an encouraging week for the Red Rose county, who had much the better of a contest played out on a flat pitch offering little assistance for the bowlers.
Liam Livingstone, for example, scored his maiden first-class century in only his second game, and the bowlers were excellent on day three to enforce the follow-on by bowling Somerset out for 313.
They will go in search of their second win from three Division One matches when Hampshire visit Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday.
Kyle Jarvis made the breakthrough this morning when he uprooted Groenewald’s off-stump before Abell was caught and bowled by Simon Kerrigan off a leading edge.
Trescothick rode his luck at times today.
Third-man was a productive area for the veteran, who edged Jimmy Anderson through the vacant second slip region twice shortly after lunch.
He had brought up his fifty off 83 balls before lunch and reached three figures off 196 with 12 fours in the final over of the afternoon.
Trescothick had also scored a century in a draw against Surrey at the Oval last week.
Lancashire’s four frontline bowlers were all tidy as Somerset battled to save the game, while Steven Croft employed himself and Liam Livingstone as extra spin options.
Haseeb Hameed’s second first-class over of off-spin finished the contest.
Rogers reached his second fifty of the match just before tea off 147 balls with six fours just before tea, by which time Trescothick had reached 96 and the pair had shared 109.
Trescothick raised his bat just before the hosts went to tea at 178-2 from 69 overs, a deficit of only two.
Trescothick and Rogers have scored 133 first-class centuries between them, and their combined tally of runs stands at almost 48,500.
A two to long-leg for Trescothick off Kerrigan in the first over after tea brought the scores level at 180-2 before the game drifted to a 4.50pm handshake.
Lancashire take 11 points from the game.
England v South Africa 2017
Find Out More