Paul Horton recorded a career best 155 not out to rescue Lancashire after a worrying afternoon on the opening day of their County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton today.
The 26 year-old opener secured his first four-day hundred of the summer and shared an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 144 with Kyle Hogg, who also hit a superb, unbeaten 69.
But the Australian-born player then admitted that there is still work to be done: “Whatever I’ve got now, as we stand here, is one half of the job. We’ve only 300, and we’ve got to get to maximum points,” he said.
Horton and Luke Sutton shared 58 for the first wicket, and the visitors had advanced to 99-1 just after lunch after being invited to bat first.
But Charl Willoughby and Ben Phillips (3-43 from 18) shared four wickets in the afternoon session to reduce Lancs to 153-5 in the 50th. The Red Rose county finished the day on 297-5 after 85 overs.
“It was nice to carry my bat, bat through to get a career best,” continued Horton. “It would be nice to kick on and get a double hundred tomorrow, that’s what anyone wants to achieve. We’ve got to kick on tomorrow morning to try and get as many runs as we can.”
VVS Laxman and Francois du Plessis will be furious with their dismissals as they chased wide balls, edging behind to Craig Kieswetter.
Sutton had been caught behind down the leg-side off Phillips before lunch, a ball after being cracked on the side of the helmet by a bouncer. The wicketkeeper was dripping blood, and emerged from the dressing rooms this evening with a large plaster on his ear.
Mal Loye was trapped lbw by left-armer Willoughby just after lunch, and Mark Chilton edged Phillips behind as he lunged forward to signal the loss of Lancashire’s fourth wicket.
Du Plessis was the fifth to go before Horton and Hogg united until the close of play, which was three overs earlier than it would have been due to sun in the eyes of both batsmen from the Old Pavilion End.
“This is probably Kyle’s first real run in the side, he will probably class it as his breakthrough season,” said Horton. “You are now seeing the ability of Kyle Hogg, he is now producing what he has always been capable of.”
Horton also admitted that Lancashire skipper Glen Chapple would have bowled first had he won the toss on a track with a greenish tinge on it. Lancashire were tested more through swing rather than seam.
But it did not seem to bother Horton and Hogg too much as they batted comfortably for close to 33 overs. Hopefully that will be the case tomorrow too.
Photo: Phil Mingo, Pinnacle
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd