Lancashire and Glamorgan battle for an advantage after a hard-fought day
Further wickets for James Anderson and Saqib Mahmood, along with contrasting half centuries by Glamorgan pair Dan Douthwaite and Callum Taylor were among the highlights as Lancashire and Glamorgan battled for supremacy on another rain-affected day at Emirates Old Trafford.
Anderson continued to close in on one thousand first-class wickets with numbers 991 and 992 arriving on this second day of LV= Insurance County Championship action with his final figures of 3-47 coming from 25 overs.
But Lancashire were frustrated by good partnerships from the Glamorgan lower order with the last four wickets adding 150 runs to help the visitors reach 344 before Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies safely negotiated 18 overs to reach stumps on 22-0.
Anderson and Luke Wood both produced fine, testing spells on another rain-interrupted morning of just 16 overs to claim a wicket apiece, but it could easily have been much more.
Glamorgan had resumed on 117-3 but Anderson struck early in his second over of the day going round the wicket and trapping Billy Root lbw playing back to a pitched up delivery for 19.
Meanwhile Wood had Chris Cooke dropped at slip, a difficult chance low down, and the batsman also edged through the slip cordon twice for four, the ball bouncing awkwardly in front of the fielders on both occasions while another edge high off the bat landed safely at point.
But the left arm paceman eventually found reward when Kiran Carlson fended off a brute of a short, rising delivery that flew to Anderson at third slip to depart for 18.
Taylor nearly followed in identical fashion from the very next delivery with the ball dropping just short of gully despite Josh Bohannon’s sprint and dive to try and effect a catch with Glamorgan 162-5 at lunch.
And Lancashire enjoyed further success early in the afternoon although it arrived in unusual fashion.
Mahmood pulled up in his run up with a leg problem and, after consulting with Red Rose physiotherapist Sam Byrne, limped off to receive treatment.
Josh Bohannon took over the responsibility of completing the over and struck with his third ball which Glamorgan skipper Cooke steered straight to Liam Livingstone at gully to depart ruefully for 33.
But the visitors fought back splendidly with an 81-run partnership between Taylor and Dan Douthwaite that spanned 29 overs to frustrate the Red Rose attack.
Douthwaite, who looks to be a very handy batsman to have coming in at number eight, was the more aggressive of the pair, attacking where possible which included hitting Parkinson and Wood for sixes and he played some nicely timed drives during his 95-ball innings of 61.
Douthwaite departed lbw on the stroke of tea when Anderson nipped back a ball of full length to claim his third wicket, but overseas all-rounder Michael Neser on his debut then helped Taylor add 43 runs for the eighth wicket before both fell in quick succession; Neser getting a leading edge off Parkinson to be caught at short cover for 17 while Taylor’s hard-fought innings ended on 58 when he was lbw to Mahmood.
But another enterprising partnership of 30 off 38 balls took Glamorgan to 344 all out, Timm van der Gugten largely responsible with two sixes in his 23 off 25 balls before he holed out to mid-on off Mahmood attempting to get the visitors up to a further batting point before the 110-over cut-off.
Lancashire had chipped 22 runs off that total by the close, but with a very poor weather forecast for Saturday, a draw is starting to feel like a fairly inevitable outcome.
“Credit to Glamorgan, they’ve batted well,” said Saqib Mahmood.
“Although I think we could have bowled a bit better. The wicket has flattened out a lot since yesterday. That’s why we would have bowled first if we had won the toss, knowing that day two would have been the nicest day to bat.
“But with the wicket flattening out, the ball getting softer plus it was a little bit wet too, and as a result lateral movement went out of the game.
“But we stuck at it and got all the bonus points in the end.”
Mahmood took three in the Glamorgan innings to take his tally to 13 for this season and he added:
“If I’m honest I’ve bowled better this season but not had the rewards I maybe deserved, so I’ll take it (today),” he grinned.
“I just try to stay with the process (that’s brought wickets). I don’t go chasing them. I’ve had spells where I’ve just stuck at bowling the right length and doing that quickly.
“When there’s nothing happening in the third or fourth innings you need to come in and bowl short or bowl a few quick spells. I feel I’ve been able to adapt to both of them.”
There was concern today when Mahmood pulled up while bowling and went off the field and he admitted: “My ankle is pretty sore, I just need to go and ice it some more, but you know as a bowler you are going to get sore at times. But once we get through this game, we’ve got a week off to recover.”
And the fast bowler has enjoyed opening the attack with James Anderson once again.
“We had a lot of success in 2019,” he reflected. “So to bowl with him again was quite nice.
“He’s come in (for his first game this season) and gone at under two an over. On a wicket like this it shows how good he is. He hasn’t played for a while and having spent a lot of time with him during the winter you learn a lot just watching him day in, day out and see how consistent he is.
On non-responsive pitches in the sub-continent he just wasn’t bowling a bad ball so that’s something I’ve tried to add to my game, to be more accurate and consistent.”
Photos: Barry Mitchell & Getty Images