Lancashire battle back on Day Three at Trent Bridge
Haseeb Hameed and Tom Smith scored half-centuries to expertly lead Lancashire away from immediate danger after conceding a first-innings lead of 198 against Nottinghamshire on day three at Trent Bridge.
The Red Rose opening pair, who started their side’s second innings midway through the afternoon, put on 50 before tea and added to that afterwards by posting Lancashire’s first century opening stand of the season.
They contributed to a close of play 128-0 from 49 overs as this Specsavers County Championship match heads towards a draw.
Hameed will begin day four on 58 and Smith, who scored 70 in the first innings, on 66. Lancashire will begin day four 70 behind.
Earlier, Notts, replying to 276, were bowled out for 474 as each of their top nine batsmen made it to at least 30. The hosts had started day three on 303-5.
Jake Libby, Samit Patel and Riki Wessels all reached half-centuries, with Wessels reaching his today, while Steven Mullaney, Michael Lumb, Stuart Broad and Brett Hutton all posted scores in the forties in improving batting conditions.
Neil Wagner finished with 3-107 from 33.1 overs as Kyle Jarvis, Smith and Jordan Clark all claimed two wickets apiece.
“That was a good end to the day, very much so,” said Wagner. “It was tough work today.
“We thought that if we could get a couple of wickets early in the morning session, they might not get too big a lead and we’d be in with a shot.
“But they batted pretty well and stuck at it on an unresponsive wicket, which was quite tough work.
“We came out with the bat and knew we had to build partnerships, and it was outstanding from those two.
“They batted really well and gave them no opportunities or chances.
“I think Lord’s was better for bowling on than this. At least there you’ve got the slope to work with!
“You never know, though, this might deteriorate more tomorrow, get a little bit more up and down and turn a bit more.”
Notts enjoyed success in their pursuit of a fifth batting bonus point for reaching 400 inside 110 overs, with eighth-wicket pair Broad and Hutton helping to get 20 off the last two overs to achieve it.
Lancashire could only claim two bowling points, meaning four overall.
Patel and Wessels frustrated the pre-game Division One leaders this morning as they accrued 105 for the sixth wicket - the first of two century partnerships in the match so far.
Patel was then caught behind off Smith for an innings top-score of 67 before the same bowler had Wessels, for 62, caught at slip by Liam Livingstone as the score fell to 369-7 in the 107th.
Unfortunately, Broad and Hutton put on 79 inside 15 overs for the eighth wicket to secure the fifth batting point just before lunch.
Broad was later bowled by Matt Parkinson’s first ball back into the attack after lunch before Imran Tahir failed to avoid a short ball from Wagner and looped a catch up to Livingstone scrambling back from slip.
And when the New Zealand quick rearranged Hutton’s stumps, Notts were all out inside 129 overs.
The hosts had all the momentum, but Smith and Hameed impressively wrestled some of it back.
Hameed hit three successive boundaries off Harry Gurney’s left-arm seamers, one flicked through mid-wicket and other two driven to cover fence, on the way to a tea-time score of 50-0 after 17 overs.
The teenager later reached 50 for the fifth time this season off 112 balls with seven fours in the second half of the evening session, shortly before the score went beyond 100.
Smith then moved into the forties with two fours, one either side of the wicket, off Tahir’s leg-spinners before posting his fifty off 120 balls with six fours.