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Bohannon’s best puts Lancs in strong position

Bohannon’s best puts Lancs in strong position

Josh Bohannon came within two runs of a maiden first-class century with a hugely impressive innings on the second day of Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire at Liverpool.

The 22 year old was left, agonisingly, unbeaten on a career-best 98 when the last wicket fell on the stroke of lunch with the Red Rose total on 449, but he can reflect on making a significant contribution as Lancashire claimed all five batting points for the first time in two years to put themselves in a strong position.

Bohannon’s drives, both straight and through the covers, were a feature of the morning as he resumed his 64-run partnership with Tom Bailey looking to build on Lancashire’s overnight score of 347-7.

And the pair kept the scorecard moving steadily with Bailey, 29 not out at the start of the day, cutting the first four of the morning in the second over to claim a fourth batting point.

Bohannon had an early let off after he edged behind only for Leicestershire’s Chris Wright to be no-balled for stepping over, and the all-rounder celebrated with a straight drive for four to bring up his half century from 98 balls.

The pair posted their century partnership from 172 balls when Bailey cut Wright off the back foot for four and Bohannon followed with another cut off the same bowler with the same result to gain the 5th batting point in the 109th over.

Bailey went to his half century from 91 balls with a huge straight six off Wright that landed in the tennis courts at the River End before falling to a catch on the cover point boundary by Neil Dexter off Wright for 57 to end another impressive innings-in a 131-run partnership-by the tall fast bowling all-rounder.

Graham Onions was caught for two by Mohammad Abbas at mid-off to give Wright his second wicket of the innings and the interest then switched to Bohannon, who had just gone past his previous best of 78 not out achieved against Worcestershire at Southport last year, to see if he could reach his century.

A four and six from the last two balls of the 119th over bowled by Callum Parkinson took Bohannon on to 98 in thrilling fashion. But three balls into the following over Richard Gleeson edged Dieter Klein behind for 11 to end the innings on 449 just before the lunch interval.

That, as it turned out, was the last action of the day as rain arrived during the interval to prevent any further play.

“I think that when you look at where we were at lunch yesterday and compare it with lunch today, it’s quite positive for us," said Tom Bailey.

Both batsmen started in positive fashion this morning, and Bailey said: "It was good to bat with Josh. We both said (at the start) let’s go out there and enjoy it."

And Bailey's good form with the bat continued.

“Starting the season batting at number eight, there’s responsibility on me," he said.

"So it’s meant I’ve had to work hard on my batting, which I’ve always done, and I’ve enjoyed that. The work has paid off.

“You often bat at key moments at eight. You’ve almost got a chance to kill the game, which is what I thought I did against Northants, and here going in at 264-6 you could potentially be all out for 300 but we’ve gone on to get 449 so it’s been good."

Bailey reached his half-century in grand style and he said: "It was nice to get to fifty with a six as well."

“It’s not something I normally do! The wicket feels a little bit slow and I had got a bit tied down. I thought if he bowls one in my half I’m going to give it everything. He did, and it paid off," he grinned.

And Bailey was delighted for Bohannon, adding: “It was great to watch from the other end.

“He’s been chomping at the bit to get back in the team, that’s been obvious from just watching him train, so I’m really pleased he got some runs."

With two days to go, and an extra 8 overs added tomorrow, Bailey believes a positive outcome is possible, saying: “As long as the weather holds I think we’ve got the bowlers to get 20 wickets on that pitch in the next two days."

Ken Grime
Photos: Barry Mitchell

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