Dazzling Davies leads Lancashire fightback

Alex Davies hits a boundary on his way to a century
Alex Davies hits a boundary on his way to a century
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Alex Davies’ third championship century of the season and an unbeaten 76 by Dane Vilas enabled Lancashire to recover from 69-3 to finish the second day of this Specsavers County Championship match on 278-5 in reply to Hampshire’s 395.

Davies was eventually caught at deep square leg by Michael Carberry off James Vince for 115 but by then he had faced 188 balls and hit 18 fours and a six. His eventful innings at Old Trafford also included two dropped catches and a missed run out opportunity.

However, the Lancashire opener had been aided in the task of restoring his side’s fortunes by Shivnarine Chanderpaul, with whom he put on 74 in 16 overs. That ended before tea, when Chanderpaul was neatly stumped by Lewis McManus for 33 after being well beaten by a ball from Brad Taylor.

Having garnered only two runs from five overs at the outset of their partnership, Davies and Chanderpaul added 47 from the next five, with both batsmen hitting Brad Taylor for six.

Davies went on to share a stand of 90 for the fifth wicket with Vilas, who batted impressively in the evening session. Ryan McLaren was unbeaten on 23 at stumps, with Lancashire 117 in arrears.

All of which represented a considerable improvement for the home side on their position in mid-afternoon, when Steven Croft was leg before to Kyle Abbott for one with the home side still 326 behind.

Lancashire had earlier lost Rob Jones leg before to Gareth Berg for two and Luke Procter for eight. The left-hander lost his off stump to a Berg inswinger.

In the first session of the day, Kyle Abbott was left three runs short of a maiden first-class hundred after a 134-ball 97. The visitors were eventually bowled out for 395 but the session had begun well for the home side, when Taylor was caught at slip by McLaren off James Anderson for 18 in the third over. However, Matt Salisbury and Abbott then added 43 runs.

Captain Eoin Morgan hopes Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone and the other new England call-ups will grasp the opportunity to shine in the three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa, which begins at Hampshire tonight.

The Red Rose batsman is among five uncapped players in a squad missing some established stars and Morgan said: “I’d like to see some of the younger guys come in and take their chance.”