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Livingstone hits century as Lancashire pile on the runs

Livingstone hits century as Lancashire pile on the runs

Liam Livingstone scored a brilliant maiden first-class century as his and Lancashire’s excellent start to the new season continued against Somerset at Taunton today.

Thirty four overs were lost to the weather on day two of this Specsavers County Championship fixture, although the Red Rose advanced from 295-4 from 97 overs overnight to 493-9 declared from 151 

Livingstone finished with 108 not out from 152 balls with nine fours and two sixes in only his second first-class innings. 

The declaration allowed Lancashire’s bowlers six overs at the Somerset openers Marcus Trescothick and Tom Abell, but they came through unscathed to reach 14-0.

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Captain Steven Croft fell for 94 this morning when he edged Roelof van der Merwe’s left-arm spinners behind, leaving the score at 354-6 after 116 overs.

He shared 59 for the sixth wicket with Livingstone, who took on the lead role and built on his skipper’s innings and that of Alviro Petersen, who made 83 yesterday.

Lancashire, who claimed three batting bonus points to Somerset’s one bowling point, missed out on two batting points for not reaching 350 in 110 overs.

But they still pressed on towards 500 as Livingstone and Kyle Jarvis shared 80 inside 19 overs for the ninth wicket.

The pair also shared 69 in the first innings of the win against Nottinghamshire.

Cumbrian Livingstone, 22, has made a “dream” start to his first-class career.

An ever-present in last season’s T20 Blast title-winning team, he scored 70 in the round one win over Notts a fortnight ago.

Here, he reached 100 off 139 balls with nine fours and two sixes, including one huge maximum over deep mid-wicket against Jack Leach’s left-arm spin to move from 90 to 96.

"It's very pleasing,” said Livingstone. “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.”

Lancashire lost Alex Davies in the opening over of the day when he edged the impressive Tim Groenewald behind for 32, leaving the score at 295-5 - the visitors had not added to their overnight total.

Croft launched Leach over long-on as he moved towards an eleventh first-class century, but it was not to be as he edged the other slow left-armer, Roelof van der Merwe behind.

No play was possible between 12.45pm and 4.15pm due to rain, leaving 38.4 overs to be bowled following the resumption. 

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When play was initially stopped, the Red Rose were 372-6 in the 121st over.

Livingstone reached a 79-ball fifty early in the evening session, including five fours and a six over mid-wicket off Leach.

Neil Wagner became the third wicket to fall. The New Zealander was stumped off van der Merwe not long after Livingstone’s fifty was secured, and the wicket left Lancashire at 386-7 in the 128th.

And when Jimmy Anderson was caught at second slip off Craig Overton, the score was 399-8 in the 131st. 

Somerset have bowled tidily for the majority of the innings, but it was only when Livingstone and Jarvis united that things started to become really ragged in good batting conditions.

Livingstone played strongly on both sides of the wicket, but particularly the on-side, unfurling some fierce strokes.

He added: "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.”

Somerset wicketkeeper Ryan Davies says it would take something “spectacular” for Lancashire to win from here given the nature of the pitch.

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