Ashwell Prince led the way again for Lancashire during an entertaining opening day against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge
The Red Rose started their ninth County Championship match under overcast skies today, and rain played its part as only 59 overs were possible. Te reigning champions posting a steady 203-6 against the current Division One leaders, whose captain Chris Read had elected to bowl first upon winning the toss.
Prince, a former overseas player with Notts in 2008, reached 63 not out when the rain came at approximately 5pm to bring a premature end to the day’s proceedings, meaning he has now posted scores above 50 seven times in the Championship this summer.
Conditions were far easier for batting than they had been up at Durham last week as Lancashire clinched their first win of the summer. But, even so, they still favoured the bowlers.
Prince was handed a life on 51 - he had brought up his milestone in 107 balls - when he edged Andre Adams to Alex Hales at first slip, who failed to cling on despite the ball coming straight at him just above the ground.
The left-hander was backed up by a number of cameos from his team-mates. Stephen Moore made 24, Karl Brown 34, Steven Croft 29 and wicketkeeper Gareth Cross 35, all of whom played with plenty of intent.
“Apart from losing the wicket (Cross) at the end, it was quite a good day,” said all-rounder Croft. “Ashwell’s dug in like he has done all year. Hopefully he can put us in a good position tomorrow.
“We’d have rather been four or five down, but we feel like we’re in a pretty strong position because we bat all the way down. We didn’t think we’d get a lot of play today, but we managed a reasonable amount. Hopefully the rain will pass us tomorrow.”
Brown played fluently during his 24-ball stay at the crease, which was ended when he edged former New Zealand international Adams to Samit Patel at third slip in the 15th over, leaving the score at 64-2. The right-hander drove him straight back down the ground before taking three consecutive fours off the seamer in the three balls before he perished. In all, 13 boundaries were scored in the first 64 runs, including eight of them by Brown.
Paul Horton was Lancashire’s first wicket to fall when he edged Andy Carter to Adam Voges at second slip in the eighth over. Brown and Moore, bowled off the inside edge by Adams, departed to reduce the visitors to 69-3 after they had been 64-1.
Croft fell after lunch when he gloved a lifter from Carter behind to Chris Read, leaving the score at 129-5, before Luke Procter edged Adams (4-77 from 19) to Patel at third slip with the score on 151 in the 47th.
There was time for another 24 balls after the first spell of rain between 3.20pm and 4.45pm, with Cross falling to Adams when he pulled down James Taylor’s throat at deep square-leg. Not another ball was bowled in the day.
Croft added: “Ashwell’s dug in today on not the easiest of decks and made it look quite easy. He kept the strike ticking over and punished the bad ball. He’s been brilliant for us this season.”
Photo of Ashwell Prince (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd