Lancs slump in reply to big Essex total on day two
Essex have seized the advantage over Lancashire after two days of this LV= County Championship match, posting the biggest first innings total conceded by the Red Rose this season before reducing their hosts to 32-5 before rain at tea brought an early end to the day.
Having seen the visitors make 379 all out, Lancashire made a disastrous start to their reply losing five wickets for 24 runs in 14 damaging overs.
Keaton Jennings (6) and Luke Wells (4) fell lbw to Sam Cook while Josh Bohannon did likewise to Jamie Porter who also removed Steven Croft first ball courtesy of an edge that was well caught to his left by Sir Alastair Cook at first slip.
Dane Vilas (11) next bottom edged an attempted leave onto his stumps from Shane Snater’s fourth delivery with the first boundaries of the innings coming when Phil Salt twice drove Simon Harmer to the ropes in the spinner’s first over.
That left Lancashire on 32-5 at tea and rain then returned to prevent any further play.
It means the hosts are a huge 359 runs behind and need a further 210 runs to avoid the follow-on when play resumes tomorrow.
At the start of the day Essex added significant runs to their overnight 280-7 with Snater hitting 72 – just seven shy of his career-best.
After play was halted for just over one hour by rain after 15 minutes, Snater combined well with overnight centurion Dan Lawrence bringing up their fifty partnership off 64 balls.
But Lawrence’s progress was hampered by what looked like a re-occurance of the hamstring injury that had forced the England batsman out of action for a month prior to this match.
Lawrence battled on with a runner before his fine innings came to an end at 120 when he drove Wood to James Anderson at midwicket.
The loss of his senior batting partner saw Snater carry the attack to Lancashire in the afternoon reaching a highly effective half century from 69 balls before helping himself to 13 off one Wood over having pulled the left-arm pace bowler for six over fine leg earlier.
But frustratingly for the visitors they missed out a fourth batting point by just two runs.
Snater found good support from Sam Cook who contributed 16 to a partnership of 57 for the ninth wicket before the last two wickets fell on the same score of 391.
Hassan Ali trapped Snater lbw and Porter was superbly run out by a Bohannon direct hit from midwicket after being sent back.
But that turned out to be as good as it got for Lancashire on a disappointing and frustrating day.
“It’s not been our day,” admitted Tom Bailey.
“It’s a good pitch but unfortunately we’ve lost five wickets to the new ball.
But Bailey believes there is still plenty to play for in this game and that the team can fight back from here.
“The boys will be putting up a fight tomorrow and fingers crossed we can get some runs on the board,” he added.
“We’ve played six back-to-back games and we’ve had a lot of time in the field.
“It’s no excuse but to have our only bad day six games in shows how well we’ve been playing.”
The fast bowler felt that Lancashire missed an opportunity late on the first day.
“We had them 280 for seven,” he said, “and there were a couple of dropped catches yesterday which might have changed things.
“We’d have liked to have bowled a bit better and I thought we could have had them all out for 320-330. But Shane (Snater) put up a fight at the end to get them to a good total.“
Photos: George Franks & Luke Adams