Simon Katich was by no means downhearted as Lancashire were held up by the weather and some late Leicestershire resistance at Grace Road today.
The Red Rose county are chasing a fourth LV= County Championship win in their last five matches, and had looked ideally placed before lunch to wrap up a three-day win with the hosts at 41-3 in their second innings and still some way adrift having been asked to follow-on in reply to 380.
Lancashire had enjoyed as good a morning session as they could have wished for.
They wrapped up Leicester’s first innings for 154 in approximately half an hour after they had started on 127-7 before taking three more wickets in the second innings, including a wicket with the first ball of the innings.
Then, at 12.45pm with the Foxes on the rack, the rain came to put a spanner in the works. We did not get back on until 5pm, by which time a three-day finish looked unlikely.
Lancashire added a further two wickets as the hosts closed on 128-5, still 98 runs in the red. It is just hoped that the weather will be kind tomorrow and allow them enough time to claim the 16 points for the win.
"We were obviously trying to knock them over, but we expected them to show some fight,” said Katich. “They hung in there well when they got back on, and we've still go five wickets to get. Hopefully the weather, which doesn't look good at this stage, doesn't cause us problems. But who knows?
"There's nothing we can do about it. Sometimes it goes in your favour when you're hanging on, and sometimes it doesn't.
"We got out of jail at Colwyn Bay, but we got robbed by the weather in terms of setting up the first two games against Worcester and Kent. That happens over here, and other teams will have had it as well.
“I guess if it's across the country, then we won't get on. The only danger is if others get on and we don't.”
Tom Smith took two of the last three first-innings wickets to fall to finish with 3-35 from 17 overs, the pick of the visitors’ figures.
Kyle Hogg then struck with the first ball of the second innings when he trapped Greg Smith lbw with a devastating out-swinging yorker. It really was a ball to remember.
But Michael Thornely and Ned Eckersley were then guilty of throwing their wickets away as the former slapped Hogg to Katich at mid-off and Eckersley was run out by a combination of Paul Horton and Gareth Cross inexplicably going for three to deep mid-wicket.
When played resumed after a four and a quarter hour break, Chapple had Shiv Thakor caught at square-leg to leave the score at 53-4. Matt Boyce and Niall O’Brien (35 not out) shared 55 for the fifth wicket before Andrea Agathangelou had Boyce caught behind as they fell to 108-5.
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh