Simon Katich passed one milestone at Emirates Old Trafford, but he wants to add another one tomorrow by helping Lancashire to their first LV= County Championship win of the season.
The former Australian Test opener reached 20,000 first-class runs on his way to 93 not out on the third day of the Division Two match against Kent.
His unbeaten 138-run stand with Steven Croft (47no), along with half-centuries from Karl Brown and Ashwell Prince, took Lancashire to 356-5 in their first innings in reply to Kent’s 244 – a lead of 112.
But with only one day left in the match, Lancashire will have to score quickly in the morning and bowl well to force a result – and their first win of the campaign.
“We are in a position now to really put Kent under some pressure and get a result,” said Katich. “We have done everything we can to put them under pressure, hopefully we can put them under some more pressure tomorrow with the bat and see where the game goes. We have to press on in the morning. We did that in the last session today when the bowlers tired a bit.”
The Lancashire players were on the balcony applauding Katich when he scored the single from Mark Davies which took him to 87 and the magic 20,000 mark.
“It wasn’t the focus today, that’s for sure because I was a long way away,” said Katich. “It is a very proud moment.
“For me it has always been about playing in winning teams and I have been lucky to do that. Tomorrow it is all about doing it again. If we win the game it will make it even more special.
“The lads were fantastic, they all got on the balcony and applauded.
“I am lucky it happened here at Emirates Old Trafford because I am not sure it would have been announced at any other ground like it was here. It was a nice touch.”
James Anderson and Karl Brown set up the day for Lancashire with a 62-run stand in the morning session. The England bowler brought up their 50 partnership with a straight drive for four off Mark Davies, but he eventually fell for 26 – his second highest first-class score for Lancashire - when he was trapped lbw by Charlie Shreck.
Kent dropped three catches after lunch as first Brown escaped when he was put down by Davies at mid-on off the bowling of James Tredwell on 48.
In the following over Darren Stevens put down a chance from Prince at first slip off Matt Coles while he was on 18. And Coles was unlucky again when Sam Northeast failed to cling on to an edge in the slips with Brown on 61.
Brown, however, was bowled by Shreck while on 87, bringing to an end his 93-run stand with Prince. The former South African Test player scored his second successive half-century, but he too failed to convert when he was given out lbw to Stevens while on 58.
Katich and Croft upped the run rate in the final session as Lancashire looked to build a big lead.
And just after Katich had reached his 50 off 77 balls, Mike Powell dropped Kent’s fourth catch of the day as the Australian skied a shot off Tredwell.
“I thought our top order did a fantastic job setting the game up for us,” said Katich. “Full marks to Karl Brown and Jimmy, they did a fantastic job along with Ashwell - they made our job a lot easier in the final session to wear them down and get the scoreboard ticking over a lot quicker.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh