Lancashire bowlers fightback after early Notts advantage
Tom Bailey and Danny Lamb took four wickets each to spearhead a great Lancashire fightback after Nottinghamshire had seized the early initiative in this vital LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Trent Bridge.
Lamb finished with 4-60 while Bailey took 4-48.
Three Nottinghamshire batsman made half centuries to put the hosts on top at 211-3 just before tea before wickets tumbled in the final session with the hosts 272 all out.
Lancashire lost two wickets in the 11 overs they had to face before stumps, Alex Davies caught behind for 0 and Luke Wells snapped up at short leg for 8, to be 28-2 at the close of an eventful and entertaining opening day.
And the Red Rose go into the second day with injury worries to Saqib Mahmood and Steven Croft who both spent significant amounts of time off the field.
Lancashire, without Liam Livingstone who misses this week's game through illness following his second Covid jab, left out Matt Parkinson with Croft and Davies coming back into the side.
And the Red Rose side made a promising start with Mahmood and Bailey finding early movement after putting Nottinghamshire in to bat, but the Red Rose failed to make their early opportunities count with only one of four possible catches from edges in the morning session producing a wicket.
Bailey removed Ben Slater for 8, caught by wicketkeeper George Lavelle after the batsman already had survived two edges off Mahmood.
The Lancashire pace bowler produced a number of ‘snorters’ in a fast four-over opening spell that could easily have added to Bailey’s solitary success.
Instead Ben Duckett and Sam Northeast, on his home debut having signing for the remainder of the season, settled in to produce a solid base for the hosts to prosper as the early movement and life in the pitch started to ebb away in the Nottingham sunshine.
Duckett batted nicely to reach a 69-ball half century but having survived on 55 after nicking a difficult low chance off Mahmood the Notts opener departed for 59 straight after lunch, playing a touch too soon at a Lamb delivery and spooning a catch up to Mahmood at mid-on.
Northeast picked up the scoring after a quiet spell with three well-struck boundaries reaching his half-century from 110 balls with a straight drive for four off Mahmood and sharing a partnership of 67 with Joe Clarke.
But having reached 65 Northeast nicked a Bailey delivery that seamed away to Lavelle to give Lancashire a much-needed breakthrough but Clarke continued to punish anything short or wide with some fierce pulls and drives to leave Notts well-placed on 211-3 with one ball remaining before tea.
That last delivery proved pivotal as Lyndon James, who had struck five attractive-looking boundaries in his 21, drove Bailey to Bohannon at cover.
It was the first of five wickets to fall for 37 runs in the space of 53 balls as Lancashire capitalised brilliantly on that breakthrough when play resumed.
Lamb did most of the damage trapping Clarke lbw for 54 before George Balderson claimed his first wicket in Championship cricket having Steven Mullaney caught by Wells at slip for 4.
Liam Patterson-White flashed at a Lamb delivery that was well caught by Rob Jones at slip and two balls later Hutton edged Lamb behind to Lavelle.
Tom Moores thumped a six but departed lbw to the off-spin of Wells for 12 to leave Notts 260-9 in a stunning turnaround of fortunes.
Luke Fletcher hit one six in his 27 before being last out attempting to repeat the shot but instead finding substitute fielder Liam Hurt at deep mid-wicket to hand the excellent Bailey a fourth wicket.
However Lancashire will be anxious about Mahmood who pulled up halfway through his 15th over and went off holding his side.
And Steven Croft missed the majority of the day after damaging the thumb on his left hand diving for a potential catch in the third over. Croft did reappear after tea with his thumb heavily strapped and he even bowled an over before going off again, so Lancashire will have some anxieties about both players going into tomorrow.
But they can reflect on an excellent fightback today that has kept them right in this game.
Photos: Luke Adams