Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford (day three of four)
Lancashire 259 & 289-8: Jennings 97, Livingstone 68; Cummins 4-50
Middlesex 337: Simpson 167*, Sowter 52; Bailey 5-78
Lancashire (5 pts) lead Middlesex (6 pts) by 211 runs
A late fightback by Middlesex has set up an intriguing final day in their Specsavers County Championship match against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.
Five wickets fell in the final session and Lancashire slipped to 289 for eight having been 235 for three at the tea interval. Miguel Cummins finished the day with four for 50. There were also two wickets for Ethan Bamber and one for both Toby Roland-Jones and Nathan Sowter.
There were half-centuries for both Keaton Jennings (97) and Liam Livingstone (68). They shared a fourth wicket stand of 127 before Jennings played on to a Sowter delivery.
This is the second time this season that Jennings has been dismissed three runs shy of a century. The other occasion was in June against Northamptonshire.
Bamber bowled an excellent spell and dismissed both Livingstone and Dane Vilas (2) to leave the hosts on 271 for six, with a lead of less than 200.
Cummins then took two wickets in consecutive overs to undo Rob Jones (16) and Tom Bailey (4) to leave Lancashire on 282 for eight.
Earlier in the day, night-watchman Saqib Mahmood made a career-best score of 34. He shared a second wicket stand of 74 before he edged Cummins behind to wicketkeeper John Simpson.
Bad light brought play to a premature end and the hosts will resume the final day with a lead of 211 runs, meaning that all results are still possible.
WHAT THEY SAID
After a day when he fell three runs shy of his century, Jennings reflected on the performance and said: “It’s about putting the team in a position where we can win the game.
“It was disappointing to get out just before the new ball. We’ve got a lead of 210 but I said to Dane Vilas at tea that a lead of 250 or 300 would be competitive.
“The surface has led to a really good game. Day one was hard work, day two was a belting batting surface and it’s got a little tougher to bat. It’s set up to be a good finish and hopefully we can put them under pressure tomorrow,” he added.
Picture credit: Middlesex County Cricket Club