Liam living it up for Lancashire

Livingstone - maiden ton
Livingstone - maiden ton
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Liam Livingstone continued his excellent start to life as a first-class cricketer with a maiden century during another profitable day with the bat for Lancashire against Somerset at Taunton.

Livingstone, who hit 70 on debut in the win against Nottinghamshire in round one of the Specsavers County Championship, underpinned the visitors’ imposing 493 for nine declared with an unbeaten 108 in good batting conditions.

Steven Croft added 94 and Alviro Petersen 83 but the second day saw 34 overs lost to rain, with Somerset closing on eleven without loss from six overs.

Livingstone was a regular member of Lancashire’s T20 Blast-winning side last summer, while he also memorably scored 350 in a club match for Nantwich. And he has made a seamless transition into first-class cricket, with his 152-ball innings including nine fours and two sixes.

He shared 80 inside 19 overs for the ninth-wicket with Kyle Jarvis, who hit an invaluable 34.

Visiting captain Croft, having shared 59 for the sixth wicket with Livingstone, fell six short of an eleventh first-class hundred before the rain arrived.

His 94 came off 194 balls with eight fours and three sixes. One of those maximums came when he launched Jack Leach’s left-arm spin over wide long-on into the River Tone.

But Croft would fall as he was caught behind to the left-arm spin of Roelof van der Merwe to leave the score at 354 for six after 116 overs.

Earlier, Alex Davies fell in the first over of the day for 32, also caught behind, off Tim Groenewald’s impressive seam as he finished with figures of two for 50. At that stage, Lancashire had not added to their overnight score of 295 and were five down.

Only one run came in the first five overs of the day, leaving the visitors out of range of claiming a fourth batting point for reaching 350 inside 110 overs. Both sides would miss out on bonus points but Lancashire claimed three batting and Somerset just one bowling as, by that stage, the Red Rose had reached 323 for five.

Croft’s six came shortly afterwards before Livingstone followed suit by lofting Leach over deep mid-wicket. Livingstone later smashed Leach over the long mid-wicket boundary to go from 90 to 96 before reaching three figures of 139 balls.

This came after Neil Wagner and Jimmy Anderson had fallen before Lancashire reached 400 - stumped off van der Merwe and caught at second slip off Craig Overton respectively.

But Livingstone was given excellent support by Jarvis, with the pair sharing a half-century stand for the ninth wicket in the second match running.

Livingstone said: “It’s very pleasing. It’s been a great day for the team, and obviously personally a very proud moment to score my first hundred. It’s one of the things you dream of as a kid, and it’s been a long time coming. Luckily I’ve got my chance and managed to do well in my first two games.

“I’ve started very slowly in the last couple of seasons, built my way up and ended very strongly. That was the one thing I’ve worked on this winter and why I went away to Australia (Perth) to try and hit the ground running and give myself the best chance to do what I’ve done.

“Ashley Giles has put a lot of faith in me. I’ve backed my own ability, played my own way and it’s worked for me.

“The boys have played really well to get up to where we are. Alviro set it up really well for us, Crofty played well, and we’ve finished it off nicely with the tail. The pitch is still very good for batting, but a few have kept a bit low, Simon Kerrigan spun a few at the end - their spinners had a few. Hopefully it starts to deteriorate.

“It’s going to be a hard task to get 20 wickets, but that’s our job.”