Lancashire settle for draw at Gloucestershire after two days are lost to rain

Rob Jones scored a half-century for Lancashire   Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Rob Jones scored a half-century for Lancashire Picture: GETTY IMAGES
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Matt Taylor claimed career-best figures of 5-57 for Gloucestershire against Lancashire but there was never any chance of a positive result to this County Championship Division Two match at Cheltenham.

The whole of the second and third days were wiped out by rain, washing away Lancashire's hopes of starting their season with a fourth straight Championship win.

Gloucestershire had reached 68 -2 in their seconds innings when the teams agreed on the draw, ending a match which will be remembered for the freak storm on the first night.

The hosts had made 205 in their first innings as England Lions seamer Saqib Mahmood took 4-48 and Miles Hammond scored 82.

Lancashire resumed their reply on the final day on 47-2 and reached 149-5 at lunch.

Rob Jones dealt in boundaries, striking a four from the first delivery of the day, as he and Keaton Jennings doubled their side’s score within the first hour, and Jones brought up his half-century from 70 deliveries with nine fours.

But they fell in successive Matt Taylor overs, as Jones was caught behind before Jennings was caught at slip for 52, having reached his half-century from 141 balls.

Dane Vilas gave Roderick a second catch and Taylor a third wicket as the visitors went from 105-2 to 126-5 in just six overs.

After losing Liam Livingston five balls into the afternoon, Steven Croft and Tom Bailey led the recovery as they gained a first batting point with a 50 partnership.

Taylor claimed his fifth wicket when he had Mahmood caught behind. Croft then drove at David Payne at mid-off from Ryan Higgins, who almost picked up a second wicket in two balls when a Jimmy Anderson edge fell just short of the slip cordon.

Payne rounded off the Lancashire innings, when he had Blackpool's Richard Gleeson caught at slip.

Gloucestershire began their second innings 39 runs adrift, and lost Hammond in the tenth over when he was caught at slip off Bailey. James Bracey, glancing down the legside, was caught behind off Gleeson in the 18th over.

Lancashire captain Vilas, said: “It’s obviously very frustrating, especially after the way we started on the first day. I thought we bowled incredibly well to bowl them out for just over 200 and then we were in a good position being 47-2 overnight and looking forward to a good second day.

"Day three was a washout, day two a wet pitch and we could only get a draw out of today. Ultimately it’s disappointing, especially after playing good cricket. I think we had a good chance this week but it is what it is.”

The draw leaves Lancashire 18 points clear of Derbyshire at the top of division two. They start their next Championship match against Leicestershire at Liverpool on Monday.