Lancashire must come out fighting during tomorrow's third day against Somerset at Taunton if they are to avoid having to scrap for a draw on Saturday.
Former England opener Marcus Trescothick blasted his eighth hundred of another prolific County Championship season. The left-hander has now amassed 1,745 runs in the four-day cricket this summer.
Trescothick’s 145-ball 102 was the main reason the West Country side were able to reach 266-3 from 76 overs at close in reply to Lancashire first innings total of 344.
But the Red Rose county handed the hosts the advantage yesterday morning as they lost their last five wickets for 47 runs on a typically good batting track.
Paul Horton managed to compile a superb 173 off 287 balls, hitting 28 boundaries, but was one of three wickets to fall to left-arm seamer Charl Willoughby (5-109 from 28 overs), who got the ball to swing both this morning and yesterday.
Kyle Hogg failed to add his overnight 69, ending an excellent sixth wicket stand of 150 between himself and Horton. Glen Chapple, Sajid Mahmood and Oliver Newby all fell cheaply as Ben Phillips also finished with 4-46 from 19.1 overs.
“We are really disappointed because we had worked hard to get back into the game from 150-5,” said coach Peter Moores. “We played a little bit too loose, and that was disappointing.
“We started the day needing 103 runs for three more bonus points, and it was definitely achievable on that wicket.”
Trescothick and Arul Suppiah shared 193 for the first wicket inside 50 overs before the former played on as he attempted to leave alone Mahmood.
Trescothick, who had survived a huge appeal for a catch at short-leg on 30, had punted Gary Keedy for two sixes, one over extra cover into the stand with his name on it, the other over mid-wicket.
Right-handed Suppiah, who also survived an lbw shout on 40 off Keedy, was a little bit more circumspect, but matched his more experienced partner run for run until they both passed 50.
Malaysian-born Suppiah fell five runs short of his fourth ton of the summer when he was comprehensively castled by Chapple (1-32 from 16) to leave the score at 221-2 in the 59th.
“To be fair to Trescothick and Suppiah they showed exactly what can be done on a pitch like this,” continued Moores. “But their bowlers got it to swing, and we didn’t.”
Lancashire’s bowling improved dramatically after tea. They conceded 141 from 34 overs in the afternoon session, but took three wickets, leaking only 73 runs from 27 overs after the second break of the day.
Mahmood bowled James Hildreth, beaten for extra pace, and finished the day with figures 2-48 from 14.
“We are going to have to bowl well and fight hard in the morning,” continued Moores. “We are going to have to do to them what they did to us. A good last session has kept us in the game. Saj bowled with some real pace after tea. He deserved his wickets.
“We wanted one more tonight to have them four down.”
Photo: Phil Mingo, Pinnacle
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd