Paul Horton was Lancashire's standout performer with the bat but his day ended in disappointment when he was out for 99
The opener was the only Red Rose player to pass 50 on this second day of their LV= County Championship encounter, as they responded steadily to the home side’s 326 all out on a pitch that is still showing signs of uneven bounce, particularly when the bowler is running in from the Pavilion End.
Horton and opening partner Stephen Moore shared 82 to give their side the ideal start to day two, Moore reaching 42 with seven boundaries.
But Paul Franks and Luke Fletcher impressed for the home side with the ball to give their side a distinct advantage, taking seven wickets between them.
An unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 50 between Sajid Mahmood and Kyle Hogg, however, gave the visitors some late impetus just like Andre Adams had done for the hosts 24 hours earlier.
It meant that Lancashire closed the day on 293-8 from 98 overs, and will resume in the morning only 33 runs behind and seven runs from a third batting bonus point. Mahmood is 39 not out and Hogg 19.
“There's not really that much difference between 99 and a hundred,” said Horton. “This is the third time I've made 90 in a year, and people may look differently at you if you have three hundreds.
“I felt I deserved a hundred, but that's life. I may look back in 20 years time and tell my kids that I got a lot of nineties!”
Lancashire lost Moore and Karl Brown in the half hour or so prior to lunch to put a dampener on their good early work, but Horton and Mark Chilton shared 46 for the third wicket to take the score to 146-2.
Chilton then chopped Franks onto his stumps in the 47th over, and was the first of four wickets to fall for 51 runs as the scored slipped to 197-6 in the 69th over.
Steven Croft chipped Franks to Neil Edwards at mid-wicket and Tom Smith edged a ball that bounced and nipped off the seam from the same bowler behind the wicket to Read before Horton fell.
Having hit eleven fours, he edged his 200th ball – a brut from Franks – behind to Read.
“I'd have settled for that at the start of the day,” said Horton.
“There wasn't a great deal I could do. Some of the balls have been unplayable. If it hits either side of a crack, it goes up your nose. That's part of this wicket. It's just a shame that I managed to glove it.”
Franks was Notts’ best bowler with 4-50 from 22 overs, but he did not get the second new ball. That honour went to Fletcher and Charlie Shreck, who had Gareth Cross and Farveez Maharoof edging to David Hussey at second slip.
But then Mahmood and Hogg gave their side some valuable momentum with some attacking stroke-play against the harder ball, hitting seven boundaries between them.
Horton added: “It was a shame we couldn’t push on earlier, but it was a good last 45 minutes. It’s going to be an interesting game over the next two days. The wicket won't get any better. The cracks will open up as the game goes on, and the pitch will get more uneven.”
Notts all-rounder Samit Patel will not play in Thursday’s final day after being called into England’s one-day squad. The hosts are permitted to name a like for like replacement.
Photo (c) John Walton/EMPICS Sport
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