Lancashire are still firmly in their County Championship match against Hampshire at Liverpool even though they were bowled out for just 208 in the first innings before tea today.
When play finally got underway on the second morning, the Red Rose were soon in trouble thanks, in the main, to three-time England Test bowler Chris Tremlett, who claimed 4-49 from 13 overs.
Former Red Rose seamer Dominic Cork returned 3-43 from 16, while Dimitri Mascarenhas also pinched two, to bowl the hosts out inside 61 overs.
But left-arm spinner Gary Keedy then led a fight back with two wickets to restrict the visitors to 124-4 at close. Lancashire would have been a lot happier had Nic Pothas and James Vince not shared an unbroken 53 for the fifth wicket late in the day.
Paul Horton top scored for the hosts with 37, but they had their middle and lower order to thank for gaining one batting bonus point for passing 200.
Sajid Mahmood hit a run-a-ball 30, including five fours and one towering straight six, while Glen Chapple hit 27 and Luke Sutton 25. Mahmood whacked James Tomlinson for four boundaries in seven balls to take his side beyond 200.
While Tremlett finished with the pick of the figures for Hampshire, all eyes were on returning veteran Cork. All of his wickets were lbws, those of Mal Loye, wicketkeeper Sutton and Chapple.
Andrew Flintoff, who later bowled seven speedy overs, batted at No. 3. He hit Dimitri Mascarenhas for six before being caught at third slip next ball for 12.
“I don’t think we batted as well as we can,” said coach Peter Moores. “Though there was something in the pitch and it swung, we didn’t play to our full potential. We came back well with the ball. The pitch is dry and will turn later in the game. There is bounce in it, it swung, but we never pushed on with a partnership.”
Home captain Chapple then ensured that his side made the perfect start with the ball by forcing Jimmy Adams to edge behind to Sutton in the fifth over.
Kyle Hogg then trapped Michael Lumb lbw in the 14th over before left-arm spinner Keedy whipped out his two wickets in his first two overs.
He had Michael Carberry caught at short leg by Steven Croft with just his second ball for 25 and Chris Benham was caught behind by Sutton off a top edged sweep for one. Hampshire were wobbling at 71-4 in the 22nd.
Pothas (35) and Vince (34) then shared their unbroken fifth wicket partnership to take their side through to close.
Moores continued: “The biggest positive is that it is a three day game now. It has moved on quickly. Both sides will be trying to get a result out of it. The game is pretty evenly poised. We would have liked one more wicket tonight, but if you had asked us before we started to bowl we would have been happy with 124-4.
“If we come back tomorrow strong, get a couple of early wickets, we can put Hampshire under pressure. There is still a real strong chance of a result. We do know that once we have bowled Hampshire out we are going to have to bat better second time around.”
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd