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Match Report

Rain hit day at Old Trafford

Rain hit day at Old Trafford

Glen Chapple's men are in the familiar position of having to beat both their opponents and the Manchester weather if they are to maintain their excellent start to the season and win their opening three Championship matches for the first time since 1995.

After a morning session in which the overnight pair Ashwell Prince and Mark Chilton had scored 109 runs in 27 overs - thus extending Lancashire's lead over Kent to a very healthy 284 - drizzle developing into serious rain ruled out any more play on Thursday.

The weather forecast is no more promising for the first half of Friday, leaving the draw as perhaps the most likely result, a prospect few pundits had considered when 23 wickets were tumbling on the first two days of the match.

But if Lancashire fans are pessimistic about the prospects of their side beating Kent on Friday, they can be delighted with the form of Ashwell Prince, whose unbeaten 71 took his match aggregate to 186 on a wicket offering bowlers plenty of help.

No less impressed than the supporters in the stands was Prince's batting partner Mark Chilton. The pair took their third-wicket stand to an unbroken 123 yesterday morning and Chilton, who made 52 not out, was full of praise for his partner's performance.

"It was outstanding play and he's an outstanding individual," said Chilton. "He's been like that right from the moment he came at the start of last year and he's backed it up in the first three games of the season."

 "It was a tremendous effort in this game. To score 186 runs out there is a cracking effort."

In his own style, Chilton was also impressive yesterday. The 33-year-old right-hander may have taken 30 more deliveries than Prince to reach his fifty and he may have been dropped on a couple of occasions, but he gritted it out on a tough surface in a manner that was both familiar and comforting to Red Rose fans.

Chilton has hit seven boundaries in his 106-ball innings while Prince has struck ten fours and a six over long-leg in his 89-ball stay at the crease. Overall, though, Chilton conceded that it had still been a frustrating day.

"Before play, we talked about how important that first session was going to be and we managed to get through it and put ourselves in a really strong position," he said.

"So it was a little bit disappointing to get ourselves into a good position and then have to sit there and watch it rain. We did exactly what we wanted to do, but our hand might be forced a little now and we'll just have to see what comes tomorrow."

Paul Edwards at Old Trafford
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd


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