Lancashire battle to stave off defeat
A century stand between Haseeb Hameed and Tom Smith gave Lancashire every chance of avoiding defeat in their Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Nottinghamshire.
Batting for a second time, 198 behind, the openers reached stumps on day three at 128 without loss, closing the deficit to just 70.
Smith, who made 70 in the first innings, had scored 66 with Hameed undefeated on 58.
Their partnership is the first three-figure stand by any Lancashire openers for 22 innings, since Paul Horton and Karl Brown put on 130 against Northamptonshire last season.
The effort is particularly noteworthy as the Red Rose county, who entered the contest as leaders of Division One, had been put under pressure by a solid batting performance from their hosts.
With the top nine each scoring at least 30 runs, Notts batted until midway through the third afternoon before being dismissed for 474, with Neil Wagner, who took 11 wickets when the sides met at Old Trafford in April, returning figures of three for 107.
At the start of the day Samit Patel and Riki Wessels extended their sixth-wicket stand to 105 before both fell to Smith, who took two for 70.
Patel had been watchful in stretching his overnight score of 51 up to 67 but after an hour of play he feathered Smith into the gloves of wicketkeeper Steven Croft.
Wessels made 62 and was clearly chasing maximum batting points when he nicked to Liam Livingstone at slip in the 107th over.
Stuart Broad and Brett Hutton each threw the bat from the start of their innings and brought up the 400 with one ball of the 110th over remaining.
Both players were eventually dismissed on 46, Broad bowled by Matt Parkinson’s leg spin and Hutton undone by the pace of Wagner.
Both counties have had their wicketkeeping problems this season and had their resources stretched. Notts remain without their injured club skipper Chris Read and had to dig deep into their resources when stand-in Wessels had to leave the field for a while with a hand injury, with Brendan Taylor taking the gloves.
Lancashire captain Croft, meanwhile, deputised capably behind the stumps in the absence of Jos Buttler, on international duty, and the injured Alex Davies.