Paul Horton and Luis Reece ensured Lancashire made a handsome start to their LV= County Championship match against Leicestershire at Emirates Old Trafford, one which could see the hosts clinch promotion and the Division Two title.
The Red Rose side, invited to bat first under gloomy skies brightened by the use of floodlights, reached 92-0 from 21 overs at lunch. Unfortunately, there was no play afterwards due to rain.
Rain had interrupted the morning session on two occasions for 15 minutes apiece. Play did not start until 10.45am and was halted again at 11am.
Horton and Reece reached 42 not out and 31 not out respectively at lunch thanks to some commanding stroke play against an attack who had a mixed morning. The Foxes seamers may have brought about the odd edge wide or over the slips, but they also handed the Red Rose duo plenty of scoring opportunities.
There was a run of seven boundaries in 12 balls in the ninth and tenth overs. Reece hit three of them off Ollie Freckingham before Horton took four off Nathan Buck, the last of which was an all run four to help the hosts to 51-0.
Lancashire need 18 points to seal promotion this week and 23 points to win the Division Two title. If Essex fail to get maximum points against Kent, the target of 18 will reduce. With second-placed Northamptonshire not playing until next week, the Red Rose will need 23 to win the league this week.
Wicketkeeper Alex Davies and fast bowler Oliver Newby are making their first appearances of the season.
Photo of Paul Horton (c) Simon Pendrigh