Davies leads Lancashire fightback against Hampshire
Lancashire face a stiff challenge following the first two days’ play in this Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire after the visitors built a commanding total of 451 despite the best efforts of Graham Onions who finished with a five-wicket haul.
Rilee Rossouw turned his overnight half century into an unbeaten innings of 120 to help Hampshire add 149 runs to their overnight 302-6 during the first half of the day.
Alex Davies was the mainstay of the Red Rose reply with his highest score in the Championship this season, an unbeaten 78 and he found good support from skipper Dane Vilas as Lancashire closed on 140-3, still trailing by 311 runs.
Red Rose hopes suffered an early blow in their reply when Keaton Jennings was unfortunate to get a nick off his glove through to wicketkeeper Tom Alsop after shouldering arms to Gareth Berg for 4.
Meanwhile Davies struck two eye-catching boundaries in Kyle Abbott’s first over and later unfurled a glorious straight drive to get his innings off to a typically positive start. The opening batsman then brought the Red Rose fifty up with a nicely timed drive through square leg for four.
But Davies lost two more partners in fairly quick succession with Haseeb Hameed out for 13 when Fidel Edwards brought a delivery back to hit off stump, the batsman offering no shot, and Rob Jones was bowled through the gate by Abbott for 1 to leave Lancashire on 70-3.
Unperturbed Davies moved on to reach his fifty from 87 balls with consecutive boundaries off Abbott in the 27th over found solid support from captain Dane Vilas who had made a steady unbeaten 37 from 73 balls at stumps.
The pair fought back well during the final ninety minutes of the day, doubling the score with a partnership worth 70 runs so far but they go in to the third day with a lot of work still to do.
Earlier Graham Onions struck with the 22nd ball of the morning, trapping Ollie Rayner lbw for 0 to register his second five-wicket haul of the season and give Lancashire the early boost they were looking for.
But a partnership of 86 between Rossouw and Berg put the visitors, who had started the day on 302-6, firmly in the driving seat on another sweltering day at Emirates Old Trafford.
Rossouw had reached 50 off 58 balls with a flurry of boundaries yesterday but his second fifty was far more sedate as the left hander played with greater caution, determined to help Hampshire build towards a big total. He finally reached three figures off 155 balls shortly after lunch having batted for four hours.
Berg provided the perfect support with 49 runs before he top edged a sweep off Parry to Danny Lamb at short fine leg; while Kyle Abbott contributed 20 before he was bowled by Arron Lilley who ended the innings when Fidel Edwards edged behind leaving Rossouw unbeaten on 120 with Hampshire posted an imposing 451 all out.
Lancashire’s initial objective tomorrow will be to reach 302 and avoid the follow-on
Photo: Simon Pendrigh