Croft stands tall but Notts in command after three days
The veteran batsman finished unbeaten on 37 but Lancashire have work to do to save the game at Trent Bridge
Steven Croft battled to the close as Nottinghamshire dominated the third day of their Bob Willis Trophy game against Lancashire at Trent Bridge.
Replying to 472, Lancashire were 129/6 at the close after Zak Chappell had taken three wickets in a long evening session to put Steven Mullaney’s team in control of the game.
Croft and the lower order will aim to make it as hard as possible for their opponents in the morning, with the first milestone to try and get past the follow-on target of 273.
In the morning session Lancashire earned their first, and so far only, point of the match a quarter of an hour before lunch when Slater was dismissed for 142, well caught low down in the gully by Steven Croft off the first ball of Tom Bailey’s second spell of the session.
Resuming on 352/3 after lunch, Joe Clarke and Steven Mullaney immediately sought to pick up the pace of the innings but that approach carried risk.
Clarke was the first batsman dismissed when he was bowled for 57 by George Balderson when attempting to hit a full-length ball on middle stump to leg. Three balls later Peter Trego, having made a single, could only edge Bailey high to Alex Davies’ right, where the wicketkeeper took an athletic, one-handed catch.
Lancashire took five further wickets in the session but since they all fell after the 110th over, they did not earn any more bonus points for them.
Having helped Mullaney steer the side past the 400-run landmark Tom Moores was caught at long-on by Dane Vilas off Liam Hurt for 18 and Samit Patel fell for a golden duck to the next ball of the match when he swung Liam Livingstone to Steven Croft at deep midwicket.
Matt Carter’s was caught by Tom Hartley off Hurt when trying going for back-to-back sixes, Zak Chappell reverse-swept Livingstone to Josh Bohannon and Mullaney was the last to go, caught at long on by sub fielder Rob Jones off Livingstone for a 71-ball 67 that had included seven fours and one six.
Lancashire's reply to Nottinghamshire’s formidable total began badly when Keaton Jennings edged Chappell to Haseeb Hameed at third slip in the sixth over. Davies and Bohannon then followed in the space of four balls, Davies caught by Moores off Trego for 26 and Bohannon well taken by Chappell when he failed to get over a drive and gave a return catch.
When Livingstone drove at Mullaney and was bowled for 14 Lancashire were 59/4 with at least another 90 minutes left to play. Dane Vilas and Croft combined to put on 50 for the fifth wicket but Chappell returned to claim the vital wicket of Vilas, who was caught behind for 26, and the rookie, Balderson was then caught at point by Chappell off Trego for eight.