Lancashire were helped out by the weather at Old Trafford today as they look to ensure an LV= County Championship draw against Essex.
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Rain prevented any play beyond 3pm as visiting pair Matt Walker and Ryan ten Doeschate attempted to build a commanding lead with a view to setting the Red Rose a victory target.
Essex captain Mark Pettini would have surely been looking for some time to bowl at Lancashire this evening, but instead he will have to send his batsmen in looking for quick runs at the start of tomorrow’s fourth day.
The visitors will resume at 155-4 in their second innings, leading by 278. Walker is 36 not out and ten Doeschate, who hit 85 in the first innings, is unbeaten on 31 off 30 balls.
Despite admitting that his side are on the back foot, Red Rose coach Peter Moores believes all three results are still possible tomorrow.
He said: “It’s frustrating that it’s rained, probably more frustrating for Essex. They’re in a better position than we are. We’ll have to wait and see what happens because the ball is in their court.
“If they play well and score quick runs, we might be forced into a rearguard action. If we get early wickets and they set us something, who knows where the game will go.”
Lancashire claimed three wickets in the 49.2 overs possible, but Essex only added 129 runs, scoring just 46 from 29 overs in the morning session.
Opener Jaik Mickleburgh made his way to 64 off 146 balls, including seven fours, but he was run out by Steven Croft from cover during the shortened afternoon session to leave the score at 106-4 in the 52nd.
Kyle Hogg took Lancashire’s first wicket of the day – his second of the innings – when he had night-watchman Chris Wright caught behind by Luke Sutton for eight.
Ravi Bopara, who could only make five off 53 balls, then edged former West Indies international pace bowler Daren Powell to Paul Horton at first slip to leave the score at 61-3 in the 36th.
Walker and ten Doeschate, who heaved Hogg over mid-wicket for six during his 30-ball stay at the crease, were starting to get things going in the right direction as far as Essex were concerned. But then the rain came and had its say.
Hogg’s 2-45 from 16 overs was the pick of the Lancashire bowling figures, while Powell had 1-14 midway through his tenth. But Glen Chapple, Sajid Mahmood and left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan can also be pleased with their contributions to slowing the run-rate.
Moores added: “They didn’t score at any rate, and all credit to our seamers for putting them under pressure.”
Day 1 Report I Day 2 Report
Graham Hardcastle at Old Trafford
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd