Lancashire were left to regret the absence of Sajid Mahmood and dropping Peter Trego twice as they lost control of their LV= County Championship match against Somerset at Old Trafford.
Trego and James Hildreth punished the tiring three-man Red Rose seam attack in a sixth wicket stand of 186 in 32 overs, with Trego racing to the fastest first-class century of the season so far from only 83 balls.
That allowed Somerset, who had been in trouble at 157 for five when Trego came in, to claim a first innings lead of 91, leaving Lancashire with a battle to save the game.
But things could have been so different if Lancashire had taken their chances to dismiss the 28-year-old all-rounder on 22 and 40.
Daren Powell was the bowler on each occasion, and was especially unlucky when he found Trego's outside edge during a determined spell from the Stretford end.
"He's been around the block long enough to know that's a fast bowler's lot," said coach Peter Moores, who praised the character shown by Powell, Glen Chapple and Kyle Hogg as they bowled a total of almost 90 overs.
“We suffered a bit for being a bowler down, and we paid the penalty for not taking chances. But give Somerset credit for sensing their opportunity. We’ve still got work to do to make the game safe, because if we did lose a couple of early wickets we could be under pressure.”
Luke Sutton, who again opened with Stephen Moore after his first innings century, did well to survive 12 overs in the gloom before the light became unplayable at 4-30pm, with Lancashire still 59 runs behind on 32 without loss in their second innings.
Resuming the third day on 155 for four, Somerset had quickly lost their young wicket keeper Jos Buttler, who lost his off stump shouldering arms at Glen Chapple.
But Trego, who hit the fastest first class century of last season from only 54 balls against Yorkshire in Taunton, played positively from the start.
He reached 50 from 57 balls with eight fours, and raced to the eighth first class century of his career from only another 26 deliveries, overtaking Hildreth in the process.
Powell finally dismissed him, caught off a top-edged pull, from 108 from 88 balls, with a total of 17 fours.
Hildreth fell agonisingly short of the century he richly deserved when he was caught behind pushed nervously at Chapple, although the 25-year-old could take consolation from a welcome return to form after a scratchy start to the season.
Chapple also dismissed Damien Wright after a quick 18 to claim his third wicket. Michael Munday went cheaply to Powell, and Kyle Hogg returned to have Alfonso Thomas caught off a top edge and complete figures of four for 96.
But Lancashire badly missed Sajid, who was again unable to bowl after suffering a calf strain when batting on Tuesday. Moores said that both he and Tom Smith, who has a hamstring niggle, will be monitored ahead of Sunday's Clydesdale Bank League game at Sussex.
Day 2 Report I Day 1 Report
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
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