Livingstone gives Lancs advantage
Lancashire enjoyed the better of the second day in this Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire, reaching 311-8 to forge a 69-run lead with debutant Liam Livingstone making an unbeaten 63 and sharing a 62-run partnership for the 9th wicket with Kyle Jarvis who ended the day 36 not out.
Resuming on 25-1 at the start of the day two, Luke Procter and Haseeb Hameed started watchfully before going on to build a useful platform through the first hour of the day. Procter stroked Stuart Broad twice through the covers, but runs came slowly as the pair battled hard in the face of some accurate Nottinghamshire bowling. Their 50 partnership arrived from 158 balls, with just 31 runs arriving from the first hour’s play, but it was an invaluable start as Lancashire set about challenging the visitors’ first innings total of 242.
Notts hit back with two wickets in two overs. First Procter edged Harry Gurney to Steven Mullaney at second slip after compiling 33 from 98 balls, and Hameed feathered Jake Ball’s first delivery of the day to wicketkeeper Chris Read after making an obdurate 18 from 99 balls to leave Lancashire 57-3 at the start of the 35th over.
Alviro Petersen was quickly into his stride driving and then pulling consecutive Gurney deliveries to the boundary in the following over. A further straight drive for four off Ball was a delight, as was a savage square cut to the third man boundary off Gurney as the South African batsman bristled with positive intent.
Petersen brought up the Lancashire hundred with a good back foot drive for four through cover off Ball as lunch approached, and the second fifty partnership of the morning arrived from 74 balls just before the break which Lancashire reached on 108-3.
Steven Mullaney, brought into the attack just before lunch struck immediately on the resumption, inducing an edge from Steven Croft that wicketkeeper Read held diving across first slip, the Lancashire skipper out for 15 with the score 117-4.
Petersen and Alex Davies watchfully added 22 runs from the following ten overs before Davies twice carved Stuart Broad over the slip cordon to the third man boundary when the England bowler strayed wide, before straight driving Jackson Bird for 4.
Broad claimed his first wicket when Petersen on 48 lobbed a return catch to the bowler off a leading edge to leave the match evenly poised with Lancashire 156-5 and still 86 runs in arrears.
Debutant Liam Livingstone then combined with Davies to steer the Red Rose to near parity with a thrilling 72-run partnership either side of tea.
Livingstone drove Broad to long-on for his first boundary and flicked Samit Patel to the square-leg fence while Davies also hit a couple of boundaries to reach his half-century on the stroke of tea with Lancashire 206-5.
Notts claimed the new ball at the start of the evening session and soon celebrated the capture of Davies’s wicket when Jake Ball shaped a delivery into the Lancashire batsman’s pads to end his innings lbw for 55. Neil Wagner then drove Broad to Brendan Taylor at cover after scoring 1 to leave Lancashire on 229-7, still 13 runs behind.
James Anderson helped Livingstone take the Red Rose in to the lead before falling to his England opening partner Broad for 6 after edging behind to Read; 249-8 in the 94th over.
That was a prelude to a great finish to the day for Lancashire from the remaining 26 overs.
Livingstone, who earlier had driven consecutive Broad deliveries to the square cover boundary, continued in positive fashion to reach his fifty off 87 balls, and thus become only the fifth Lancashire player batting at number seven to score a half-century on debut.
Kyle Jarvis stroked consecutive fours to long-on off Bird, repeated the shot later off Mullaney for his third boundary, and produced a fine innings to help Livingstone add 61 vital runs by the close. The pair ensured a third batting point by reaching 304-8 by the end of the 110th over to frustrate the visitors and produce a healthy first-innings lead of 68 runs going in to the third day.
“It was a good day for us, it’s a decent batting wicket,” said Liam Livingstone at the close.
“We’ve got a good lead and hopefully we can push that lead even further tomorrow morning.
“We try to build partnerships as a team, that helps take the pressure off. It’s something we really concentrate on.
“There’s still two days left in the game so we want to try and bat as long as we can. The bigger the lead, the more we can have attacking field when they bat.
Livingstone, having played in Lancashire’s T20 side regularly last season was fairly phlegmatic about making his first-class debut.
“I found out I was playing last Friday, but I wasn’t particularly nervous before the game which was a good thing. It’s helped me to relax and play my natural game.
“It’s another challenge and I just take it on. I’m playing with a lot of mates and Ashley Giles puts a lot of faith in us young boys, and hopefully today I did alright.”
50 RUNS OR MORE BY LANCASHIRE NUMBER 7 BATSMEN ON DEBUT:
121 J.P. Faulkner v Surrey (Oval) 2015
68 J.F. Blackledge v Glamorgan (Cardiff Arms Park) 1962
63* L.S.Livingstone v Notts (Emirates Old Trafford) 2016
62 E. Leese v Derbyshire (Old Trafford) 1880
61 F.R.R. Brooke v Sussex (Old Trafford) 1912