Gary Yates believes there are plenty of positives to take from Lancashire’s draw with Kent in their LV= County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire went into the final day hopeful of being able to force a win. But after securing a 151-run first-innings lead, they were frustrated by a century from Brendan Nash, who shared an unbeaten 148-run stand with Mike Powell as Kent reached 178-2 before the players shook hands.
And although it leaves Lancashire still looking for their first win of the season, assistant coach Yates feels there is plenty to take into next week's match with Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay, which starts on Wednesday.
"We played very good cricket over the four days," said Yates. "The way the game progressed was very similar to the match against Worcestershire.
"We are delighted that it is the second match running that we have been able to get a first-innings lead of more than 100 and done it with only five wickets down at that stage.
"We are pleased with how we are playing, and frustrated that we lost quite a bit of time to the weather. Maybe if we had more time we may have been able to force a result. But fair play to Kent, they batted well and we never really got into a position to force a victory.
"We were very confident overnight of being able to force a victory, we were trying to set it up by getting a decent lead close to 200 which would have given us a good two-and-a-half sessions to bowl them out. But Kent made it difficult for us."
Simon Katich's hopes of a first century of the season were dashed in a dramatic first over of the day.
The Australian resumed his 138-run partnership with Steven Croft with Lancashire on 356-5, but he was out to the first ball he faced as he top-edged a short-pitched delivery from Matt Coles to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones without adding to his 93.
Gareth Cross then followed off the next ball as he was trapped lbw by Coles. Captain Glen Chapple fended off the hat-trick ball, and then along with Croft – who reached his 50 off the second ball of the day – upped the run rate in a bid to gain a big enough lead to put Kent under pressure.
The skipper hit 22 off 18 balls, while Croft finished with 64 as Lancashire declared on 395-7 during a rain break, giving them a minimum of 79 overs in which to force a win.
James Anderson regularly beat the bats of Sam Northeast and Rob Key, and his first six overs went for just one run, but he was unable to make the breakthrough.
In the end it was Simon Kerrigan who split the openers as he bowled Northeast for 11. And when Chapple found Key's edge and Cross took the catch, Kent were 36-2 and a Lancashire win looked possible.
But Nash and Powell put paid to that as they frustrated Lancashire, who ended with eight points and Kent five.
Photo: Simon Kerrigan bowls Sam Northeast (c) Simon Pendrigh
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