A rearguard stand by Tom Smith and Alex Davies staved off a total collapse by Lancashire’s cricketers against LV= County Championship Division One leaders Sussex at Old Trafford.
The pair came together with Lancashire looking in a perilous position at 80 for six on the second day of the match, and were both still there with Smith on 45 and 19-year-old wicketkeeper Davies on 41 when the weather brought play to a close.
Lancashire had moved on to 157 for six in reply to Sussex’s 298 all out.
The visitors had added another 22 runs to their overnight score, Michael Yardy being run out for 136 - having hit just seven more runs - and Jon Lewis being trapped lbw by Simon Kerrigan for four.
Yardy had cause to count himself unfortunate - his batting partner Steve Magoffin struck a straight drive only for Glen Chapple to divert the ball onto the stumps with Yardy out of the crease.
Sussex’s total did not look too intimidating but Lancashire found themselves unable to deal with the visitors’ bowling attack, particularly Australian fast bowler Magoffin.
Paul Horton (two), Luis Reece (16) and Karl Brown (10) all fell to Magoffin before Sussex’s Lancashire-born pace bowler James Anyon then showed his talents.
Anyon had Ashwell Prince caught behind for nine and then clean bowled Steven Croft for a duck to leave the hosts 48 for five.
Luke Procter had put up some resistance but when he departed lbw to Ashar Zaidi for 26, things looked perilous indeed for Lancashire.
Then came all-rounder Smith and Davies, making his highest first-class score, to give the home side realistic hope of making a total which would provide a fighting chance of saving the match.
Bad light brought an early end to the day with Lancashire still 141 behind, with the last 21 overs lost to the gloom.