Tom Smith believes hard graft was the key as Lancashire took charge of their LV= County Championship match against Somerset at Aigburth.
The all-rounder made 89 and shared a 113-run partnership with Gareth Cross (50) as the Red Rose ended day two on 361-7, a lead of 93.
A devastating spell of three wickets in 10 balls from Somerset’s England Lions seamer Steven Kirby, who finished with 5-79, left the Red Rose struggling on 133-4 at lunch.
But Smith shared a 45-run partnership with Mark Chilton (30), 64 with new boy Farveez Maharoof as well as the century stand with Cross to help Lancashire into a commanding position.
“They bowled really well in the first session and didn’t really give us anything to hit so we had to grind out the runs, we had to graft,” said 25-year-old Smith.
“Kirby bowled full and gave it a chance to swing and got his rewards. You are always in a battle against him, he is always at you. But we worked hard and in the end it is a great day for the team.”
Paul Horton was first to go on day two as he edged Charl Willoughby to Marcus Trescothick at slip for 23 having put on 93 with Stephen Moore for the opening wicket.
Having passed his previous highest Championship score for Lancashire of 61, Moore became Kirby’s first victim as he was caught by Arul Suppiah at point on 73.
Karl Brown, who scored a century in Lancashire’s opening victory over Sussex, soon followed for 16 as he was caught by Nick Compton after playing an almost identical shot.
Then Steven Croft, who opened his account with a boundary, followed four balls later, edging Kirby to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter.
Chilton and Smith steadied the ship a little before Kirby found a bit of extra bounce to dismiss the skipper for 30. Smith and Cross, however, steered the game Lancashire’s way with a gritty century partnership which took the Red Rose into the lead.
The duo both passed 50 for the second time in two innings, but Cross finally succumbed to Kirby, who he had hit for three boundaries in four balls having just reached his half-century.
Smith then put on 64 with Sri Lankan all-rounder Farveez Maharoof, who remained unbeaten on 49 at the close, before he edged Suppiah to Trescothick.
“I was disappointed not to get a hundred,” admitted Smith. “But I have been in good nick all winter and it is good to bring it into the summer.
“Over the years we have got a bit of stick for not getting over 400 too many times. So to do it last week and now get another good score this week, the lads are flying high.”
Day 1 Report
Photos (c) Simon Pendrigh
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