Classy Bohannon holds Lancs together on absorbing day
The number three hit 94 on a tricky wicket after Lancashire lost early wickets against Derbyshire
Lancashire's Josh Bohannon saved his side's blushes at autumnal Aigburth with a brilliant 94 as the Red Rose reached 206/8 on the first day of their Bob Willis Trophy clash with Derbyshire.
Bolton-born Bohannon batted for just shy of 300 minutes before departing in the 90s for his second consecutive game in Liverpool, following last season's unbeaten 98, but the 23-year-old could be proud of his efforts on a tricky pitch.
In truth Bohannon's belligerence was much need by the hosts on a day when runs were hard to come by - partly due to the accuracy of Derbyshire's bowlers and partly due to a large ground with a slow outfield saturated by overnight rain.
While nothing rides on the match for the Red Rose, the visitors, who lead the North Group by five points from Yorkshire, need to finish top and then be one of the two best placed group winners from the North, Central and South, to advance to five day showpiece, and their chances of a vital victory were boosted when Keaton Jennings was trapped lbw by Sam Connors from the first delivery of the match.
Alex Davies departed soon after without scoring, when he was also adjudged lbw, following an excellent delivery from former Lancastrian Luis Reece, to leave the Red Rose teetering on 2 for 2.
Bohannon was joined in the middle by Rob Jones and the pair staged something of a recovery, compiling 56 for the third wicket in the face of some tight bowling from Reese and Dustin Melton, before Jones departed caught at first slip by Leus du Plooy off Melton for 23 to leave Lancashire 71/3 at lunch.
The visitors were quickly into the groove after the break with the impressive Reece enticing Dane Vilas to edge behind to keeper Harvey Hosein in the first over following the break as the skipper departed for four.
Bohannon was joined at the crease by debutant George Lavelle who batted for just short of an hour for a battling 13 until Melton trapped him front with the score on 108.
With a hugely inexperienced line up to come, Bohannon continued to stand firm and he reached a deserved half centry off 125 balls when he pulled Melton through midwicket for one of just six boundaries.
If scoring had been at a premium in the middle session, the runs practically dried up after tea as Derbyshire continued to pile on the pressure and Bohannon entered the 90s.
Eventually Melton's enthusiasm paid off when Bohannon clipped a ball to Fynn Hudson-Prentice at midwicket to end a fine knock, but a fitting reward for the Derbyshire seamer who finished the day with 3/46.
Teenager George Balderson continued his defiance at the other end as he and Danny Lamb dragged the hosts towards 200 until the 19-year-old slashed a wide ball from Conners to Wayne Madsen at slip for 36 with five overs to go.
Lamb followed quickly for eight when he spooned a catch to du Plooy at point to hand Matt Critchley his first wicket and bring debutant Jack Morley (0no) to the crease as he and Tom Hartley (5no) steered their side to the close.