A fluent century by Mark Chilton helped Lancashire to a healthy score of 369 all out on the opening day of their three-day match against Oxford University at the Parks today.
The 34 year-old right-hander came in at No.4 to hit 18 boundaries in his 148-ball innings of 117 before holing out to deep square-leg in the final session of the day off the bowling of Marc Milligan.
Red Rose captain Glen Chapple won the toss and elected to bat at a blustery Parks ground, and saw Paul Horton add 59, Karl Brown 37 and Gareth Cross 46.
Seam bowler Dan Conway proved the pick of the home bowling, returning figures of 4-48 from 19 overs on a pitch which had a bit in it for everyone.
Chilton looked particularly strong through the covers and square on the on-side. He was the dominant partner in a fourth wicket stand of 73 with Steven Croft, while he also shared 71 with Cross for the fifth wicket.
Openers Horton and Brown set Lancs on their way by putting on 107 for the first wicket, only broken in bizarre fashion after lunch.
Brown was the subject of a vociferous lbw shout from bowler Conway in the 36th over, only for the ball to dribble out into the off-side. As the batsman waited for the umpire’s decision, he had failed to regain his ground and immediately knew his fate when Charles Walker hit the stumps.
That was the start of an unsteady 20 minutes for the visitors, who saw debutant Andrea Agathangelou well caught at second slip by David Smith off Conway less than two overs later.
Horton, who had reached his fifty off 102 balls, could have also been run out, but his stay at the crease was ended when he was caught at gully by Neil Kruger off Don Gordon. Horton hit ten boundaries in his 132 balls.
Chilton, Croft to a certain extent with 13, and Cross then steadied the ship either side of the tea interval, although Croft was stumped just over eleven overs before the break by Richard Coughtrie off the spin of Smith.
Cross struck a handful of lusty blows in his innings, but perished when he holed out to Gordon at mid-off - the bowler was off-spinner Sam Agarwal – and that left the score at 277-5 in the 75th over.
Chilton reached his hundred off 124 balls with a flick through the leg-side the ball after Croft departed, and he added a further 17 runs to his tally before he could only pull Milligan down the throat of Ben Williams at deep square-leg.
Sajid Mahmood had a slice of luck when he was bowled by a Conway no-ball, and the ball scooted to the boundary to add insult to injury for the bowler. But Mahmood failed to capitalise, falling in identical fashion to that of Cross.
Conway picked up his third wicket when he bowled Chapple with a full delivery to leave the score at 330-8 in the 91st over, and his fourth came in his next over when Hogg found Rajiv Sharma at mid-on.
Oliver Newby (23) and Simon Kerrigan shared a tenth wicket stand of 30 to help the visitors get past the 350-mark, but the former found Milligan at mid-off off the left-arm spin of Ed Young in the final over of the day.
Photo: (c) Simon Pendrigh
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