Lancashire and Glamorgan play out an entertaining draw
Keaton Jennings and Josh Bohannon both posted their third half-centuries of the season while 93 runs were scored during an entertaining final session as Lancashire and Glamorgan settled for chasing bonus points on the final day of this LV= County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire reached 301-9 just before 6pm and the draw gained both sides 14 points.
Jennings and Alex Davies had resumed the day with Lancashire 22-0 in reply to Glamorgan’s 344 all out, but after adding a single to his overnight fourteen Davies received the ball of the morning from Michael Neser who produced a seaming delivery that found an edge eagerly snapped up by wicketkeeper Chris Cooke.
But Jennings and Luke Wells soon settled into a good partnership, Jennings cutting van der Gugten for four and Wells contributing three lovely drives for four in a 62-run partnership.
Wells looked in good touch during his innings of 30, but after lofting off spinner Callum Taylor straight for four his attempt to repeat the shot off Andrew Salter instead skied a catch to Dan Douthwaite at mid-off who took a well-judged catch in the swirling wind.
Unperturbed Jennings moved steadily to reach his third half-century in three innings soon after lunch with a sumptuous cover drive for four.
But having batted nicely to reach 64 the Red Rose opener sliced a drive off the spin of Salter to Callum Taylor at backward point to depart with Lancashire on 132-3.
Liam Livingstone and Josh Bohannon then combined to produce an entertaining partnership of 51 in just 10 overs to rapidly accelerate the scoring.
Livingstone got off the mark with two straight sixes in three balls off Salter-reaching 3,000 first-class runs in the process-and Bohannon followed with a further maximum in the bowler’s next over and then another when Marnus Labuschagne took over the bowling duties at the James Anderson end.
Livingstone perished for 25 after pulling Timm van der Gugten high to deep square leg where Joe Cooke took the catch just inside the boundary while Bohannon cut Taylor to Salter at backward point just after reaching his fifty with Lancashire 208-5.
Rain and bad light took 12 overs out of the day either side of tea and Lancashire went on the attack with the floodlights on, the weather threatening to close in and the overs starting to run out.
Dane Vilas thumped two fours in his 25 off 31 balls, Luke Wood hit three in his 28 off 26 and Danny Lamb made 22 off 21 as 93 runs arrived in a hurry in an entertaining finish to the day.
But from 286-9 it took a great contribution from Matt Parkinson with an unbeaten 16 in testing conditions, aided by James Anderson to steer Lancashire to a third batting point.
That arrived when Anderson drove David Lloyd through the covers for three and take Lancashire to 301-9 with the declaration following and the players bumping fists on the draw just before 6pm.
Glen Chapple was happy with the outcome of the day.
“At the start of the day getting 300 would have been a decent benchmark,” said Lancashire’s Head Coach.
“With a really good day we might have hoped for 350 but I think we’d have taken the points we eventually got.
“I thought Glamorgan looked a really strong team and played well. Their two overseas signings have really strengthened them, they’re a good unit.”
And Chapple was delighted with the recent form of Keaton Jennings.
“Keaton has been playing nicely. Early season you can always give a chance here and there and he hadn’t had that much luck until the last three knocks,” he explained. “He’s in a really good place with his game now as are most of the players.
“Everyone is contributing and the team is functioning pretty well.
This game marked the halfway point in the group stages of the Championship with Lancashire top of Group 3 on 93 points and Chapple added: “We’ve played some good cricket. This is probably the first game we haven’t dominated; it was pretty even.
“We prioritized the first five games at the start of the season and are delighted where we are at the moment.
“We are showing we are strong and have got depth in the team. Our batting and bowling stats are strong throughout. It bodes well if we can keep that going and keep everyone fit."
The fast bowlers have been rotated in each game so far and Chapple explained:
“We feel bowlers are more vulnerable at the start of the season. Four day cricket is hard work and however much training you do prior to the season it doesn’t harden you to the rigours of it.
“As we move forward they should develop some physical durability and we now have week off before we go into a batch of three games. So that’s not as crucial as the first five in a row.
“That will mean there are more challenges ahead in picking the team. It’s a good problem to have but it means there a lot of lads who deserve to play.
“None of the lads we’ve rested have wanted to rest. They want to play. But they understand we are trying to protect the bowling unit which will make us stronger as a team.
“We’ve got people pushing for places, and some are playing in the seconds at the moment like Jonesy and Crofty. They’re not out of the team because of poor form. It’s just the way things are at the moment.
“Normally players will get their chance through unavailability or injury and they will have to keep working for the best interests of the team.
After a week off Lancashire travel to Northampton for their next game.
“Northants are a good team,” said Chapple.
“A lot of the teams look strong this year, and it will be a real test. Where they are in the table makes it really clear that if we get a good result there it will put us in a fabulous position. So it will be another big game and one we are looking forward to.”
And Chapple was very impressed by James Anderson’s first game of the season.
“Jimmy (Anderson) will hopefully be available for that game, and I thought he bowled brilliantly to say that’s his first game for a couple of months.
“It was an outstanding performance and once again evidence of how committed he is to his cricket and to playing for both England and Lancashire as well.”
Photos: Barry Mitchell