Brilliant Bohannon leads Lancs reply against Warwicks
A classy century from Josh Bohannon took Lancashire to a position of parity in this LV= County Championship match with Warwickshire.
The 24 year-old batted superbly in making 170, just four runs shy of his career-best, to steer Lancashire to within 30 runs of Warwickshire’s first innings 371.
Saqib Mahmood then took an early wicket as Warwickshire finished the day on 52-1 and 82 runs ahead going into the final day.
Resuming on 100-1 at the start of the day it was Luke Wells who took the early initiative with two fours off Craig Miles’ first over to bring up the 100 partnership off 261 balls.
Having reached 45, Wells was bowled by Liam Norwell who straightened a delivery that pitched in line with leg before going on to hit middle and off.
But that was the only wicket to fall during the morning as Dane Vilas joined forces with Bohannon to build the best partnership of the day.
The pair bristled with positive intent from the start in a partnership of 129 in 36 overs either side of the break with Bohannon, having started the morning on 59, reaching his second century of the season, and third overall, from 201 balls just before lunch including a six off Rob Yates.
Vilas reached his half century from 65 balls with a six-also off Yates-as the runs flowed during the second hour of the day.
The visitors hit back with the new ball early in the afternoon, Norwell doing the damage with three wickets in a 17-ball spell, and the new ball has been the main method of gaining wickets throughout this match.
Vilas was the first, caught at slip for 67 and followed by Rob Jones lbw two deliveries later.
Liam Livingstone, not allowed to bat higher than number six after spending yesterday off the field, hit three fours before losing his off stump after shouldering arms to become Norwell’s fifth wicket of the innings with Lancashire 272-5 and still 99 behind.
George Lavelle was lbw to Craig Miles for 4 but Bohannon continued on relentlessly reaching his second career 150 with a drive through extra cover off Chemar Holder for three runs in the 100th over that also saw Lancashire reach 300-6 and a third batting point.
Having seen the departure of Danny Lamb and Tom Bailey either side of tea Bohannon, having already struck 20 fours and one six, finally succumbed for 170, stumped by Michael Burgess attempting to hit out against spinner Danny Briggs who finished with 3-78.
The whole of Emirates Old Trafford stood to applaud a fine innings and it was nice to see the Warwickshire players go over to the departing batsman to add their congratulations.
Norwell quickly wrapped up the innings at 341 to give the Bears a 30-run lead and finish with 6-57, an outstanding effort on such a tough wicket.
Mahmood bowled Yates with a fast delivery to unsettle the visitors on 5-1 but they avoided any further mishaps to end the day 82 runs ahead.
“A great day and very enjoyable,” was Josh Bohannon’s reaction to his big hundred at the close.
“I’m disappointed not to have carried on but I thought we put in a really good performance today.
“But it’s always enjoyable when you kick on and get a big score,” he added.
“The most pleasing thing is how much hard work I’ve put in to that sort of knock over the last few weeks with the batting coaches and Mark Chilton.
“It’s been strange coming from white ball cricket to having to focus on batting for two or three days.
“It’s been difficult but it’s paid off in the last couple of days. “
And Bohannon is targeting adding to his tally before the season is over.
“I’d like to get more hundreds and I think I’ve got a lot more to come,” he said.
“There have been times where I’ve got in and then given it away.
“But I feel I’ve matured as a player, certainly this season, and I feel I’m in a great place.
“So it’s nice when you actually get in and make one count by going big. It’s exciting.”
Over the last three days we’ve reported on how tough a wicket this has been to take wickets but Bohannon feels this game is far from over.
“It’s been hard work for the seamers but it’s starting to spin which puts Parky and Livvy into the game,” he said.
“Ideally we would have liked one or two more tonight but we will come out tomorrow and see where we can get to.
“There’s no reason why we can’t go and get five or six in the first session. We’ve done it before and we’re looking forward to tomorrow and trying our hardest to get maximum points.”
Photos: Barry Mitchell