Batsman Mal Loye recorded a solid innings of 84 off 193 balls as Lancashire stuttered in response to Nottinghamshire's daunting 388 in their County Championship match at Trent Bridge today.
The 36 year-old hit ten fours in helping the Red Rose county reach 237-6 at close. Wicketkeeper Luke Sutton and captain Glen Chapple later shared an unbroken partnership of 51 for the seventh wicket to help recover from 186-6.
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Loye hit 105 in the Championship against Warwickshire at Edgbaston during the first game of the 2007 season, and this is the nearest he has got since.
“I am disappointed not to get a hundred, but I am getting there,” said Loye, 36, who is only playing his fourth Championship game of the season following knee and calf problems. “I am pleased to be scoring pretty consistently at the moment, and it is better than getting 30 every week, but it would have been nice to get a big hundred.”
After Oliver Newby had bowled England bowler Ryan Sidebottom for 46 this morning to wrap up the Nottinghamshire innings – Newby finished with 3-68 from 22.3 overs - Lancashire wobbled early in their reply at 31-2 in the 14th over.
Paul Horton had flashed Darren Pattinson to Ali Brown at first slip in the fourth over of the visiting reply before Karl Brown was trapped lbw by Mark Ealham.
Ealham was the pick of a potent home attack, also including the likes of Sidebottom, Pattinson, Charlie Shreck and left-arm spinner Samit Patel. The former England all-rounder finished the day with figures of 3-26 from 14 overs.
Loye and Indian VVS Laxman, who hit 30 off 73 balls, put on 81 for the third wicket to add some stability to proceedings after the loss of the two wickets before lunch. But Ealham then nipped into claim the two Lancashire wickets to fall between lunch and tea, those of Laxman, caught by Bilal Shafayat at point, and Mark Chilton, trapped lbw.
Loye, who reached his second Championship 50 in as many knocks off 109 balls with six fours in the process, later survived a dropped chance on 74 off the bowling of Ealham. Ali Brown was the culprit.
But he was then bowled when he advanced to try and hit Patel over the top. That left the score at 158-5 in the 60th over of the innings, and Steven Croft was trapped lbw by Shreck for 25 15 overs later.
Sutton and Chapple hit ten fours between them – Chapple whacking eight of them – as they finished 25 and 39 not out respectively.
“It was hard going today,” continued Loye. “They probably scored 80 more than they should have done. The wicket is getting slower and slower and more difficult to play on. Only one player has dominated all match, and that has been David Hussey.
“It’s crucial that the (seventh wicket) partnership continues. If we can get anywhere near their score, it would be great. On the back of two losses it would be nice to get a draw. But on this sort of pitch anything can happen.”
[Day 1 Report]
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd