Centuries from Paul Horton and Mark Chilton helped Lancashire into a commanding position at the close of the opening day of their three-day friendly against Durham UCCE at the Racecourse Ground today.
Horton and Chilton, a graduate at Durham University himself, shared a third wicket partnership of 166 to push a strong Red Rose eleven up to an impressive 362-5 at close of play. [Scorecard]
Horton recorded his seventh first-class century off 168 balls with eleven fours, and was finally stumped off the bowling of spinner Dan Gale for a 182-ball 105.
Chilton, who reached his century early in the final session of the day off 178 balls with 13 boundaries, finally ‘retired hurt’ with 114 off 186 balls to his name. But there is no need to worry, he only ended his innings to give the other batsmen a chance to get some valuable time in the middle.
The news was not so good for Mal Loye, who did conventionally retire hurt early in his innings with a recurrence of a right calf problem, which he picked up earlier this pre-season.
The 36 year-old, who has been dogged by varying injury concerns over the last two years, will now sit out the rest of the game before being reassessed by Lancashire’s medical team this coming Tuesday.
Discussions were taking place at the close of play as to whether or not Steven Mullaney could take part in the first-class fixture as more than just a substitute fielder.
“Chilly looked in fine form, and Horts just continued his good pre-season run,” said assistant coach Gary Yates, who admitted that Lancashire would usually have won the toss and bowled had they not wanted to get in some batting practice.
Horton, who opened the innings with Loye (13), recorded his second century against the students from the North East. He later watched South African batsman Ashwell Prince edge home captain Patrick Foster to second slip for 11.
That was the first wicket to fall, leaving the score at 50-1 - but Steven Croft soon followed him back to the pavilion for one, off the bowling of seamer Joe Buttleman, and the score was 51-2.
Horton and Chilton then embarked upon their solid third wicket alliance. Horton continued his fine pre-season form, notching his second century since match action got underway in the Middle East last month.
Chilton began slowly, but revved things up as he got into the 90’s and beyond after the tea break, confirming his 19th first-class career ton.
Kyle Hogg, somewhat of a surprise inclusion in the Red Rose line-up after copping a blow to his right forearm in yesterday’s one-day friendly against Derbyshire at Old Trafford, hit four boundaries in an eye-catching cameo of 25.
And stand-in captain Luke Sutton should return to the crease tomorrow morning unbeaten on 36 from 97 balls, accompanying Tom Smith (28 not out), who hit the only six of the day over wide mid-wicket off Gale.
Durham’s bowlers worked hard, bowling a heartening 107 overs in the day. Robbie Williams, John Glover, Foster, Buttleman, Gale and Chris Paget all picked up a wicket apiece.
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd