Croft hits 100 for Lancashire

Lancashire's Steven Croft

Lancashire's Steven Croft

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Steven Croft and Ashwell Prince produced a double-century fourth-wicket stand to put Lancashire in control of the LV=County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton.

Croft became his county’s first centurion of the season with 113 not out while Prince fell for 96, becoming a maiden first-class wicket for 18-year-old Craig Overton.

Together they added 208 in 49.1 overs. By the close the visitors had posted 363 for four after winning the toss, Karl Brown contributing 50 and Stephen Moore 47.

Croft and Brown took advantage of some mediocre bowling, which erred on the short side. Both players made liberal use of the cut and pull shots, Croft reaching his century off 153 balls, with 10 fours and two sixes, while Prince hit 12 fours and a six in his 159-ball stay.

This time he and Prince took the game away from Somerset after Peter Trego struck with the first ball after lunch to make the Lancashire score 118 for three.

The day had begun badly for the visitors when Paul Horton was lbw to the fifth ball of the game from Vernon Philander with only two runs on the board. But a Somerset attack lacking Steve Kirby, Adam Dibble and Gemaal Hussain through injury, and Alfonso Thomas, who is playing in the Indian Premier League, was soon exposed as Moore and Brown produced a stand of 95 for the second wicket in quick time.

Brown reached his half-century off 82 balls, with eight fours, only to fall soon afterwards to Lewis Gregory, who penetrated his defence with a quick ball and pinned him lbw.

It was 118 for two at lunch and Trego struck immediately on the resumption earning another leg before verdict against Moore, who played defensively down the wrong line.

From then on it was all too easy for Prince and Croft against a seam attack including rookies Gregory, Craig Meschede and debutant Overton. Overton at least had the satisfaction of dismissing Prince, disgusted with himself at pulling a short ball straight to Nick Compton at mid-wicket.

But there was no removing Croft, who by the time bad light ended play at 1730 had faced 185 deliveries and extended his boundary count to 11 fours and two sixes.