Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford (day two)
Lancashire 276-6: Jennings 97, Jones 67; Wood 3-44
Northamptonshire 230: Wood 66; Gleeson 5-63
Lancashire (5 pts) lead Northamptonshire (3 pts) by 46 runs
Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Emirates Old Trafford is finely poised following a flurry of wickets after tea on day two.
A couple of wickets in the evening session for Luke Wood and a wicket apiece for Ben Sanderson and Jamie Overton evened the game out after the opening two sessions were dominated by the bat.
Earlier in the day, Keaton Jennings put in an early claim for an Ashes spot after hitting 97 – striking 10 boundaries.
The England batsman, whose place lies uncertain after a difficult winter, showed signs that he could yet return to form after a patient innings in perfect batting conditions.
Jennings played with real conviction, punishing any bad ball that was sent his way – looking composed and relaxed in the middle.
His 231-ball stay at the crease wasn’t without a blemish though the 26-year-old was dropped at short fine-leg by Sanderson off the bowling of Rob Keogh on 92, moments before tea.
Sanderson redeemed himself after the interval, striking with the forth delivery of the new ball as Jennings pushed tentatively and wicketkeeper Ricardo Vasconcelos obliged with the catch.
This brought to an end the third wicket partnership worth 152 between Jennings and Rob Jones – a partnership that was well needed after the early departure of Australian Joe Burns for 10.
Jones batted in a similar fashion to Jennings – looking unfazed throughout by the Northamptonshire attack which included Jamie Overton, who has moved temporarily from Somerset.
He fell for 67, 19 balls after Jennings and 16 after Liam Livingstone (0).
Captain Dane Vilas and Tom Bailey showed resistance in the remaining overs, adding an unbeaten 67 as they finished the day not out on 30 and 42 respectively as Lancashire closed on 276-6.
WHAT THEY SAID
Rob Jones reflected on the days play after making 67 and said: “It was an attritional day of cricket. There were tricky periods where Keaton [Jennings] and I had to get through.
“With the way the wicket is playing, it’s hard to get away the balls that are straight and directed at the top of the stumps.
“Dane [Vilas] and Bails [Tom Bailey] batted well towards the end and hopefully then can go on tomorrow.” he added.
Photo credit: Lancashire Cricket