<
>

Unbeaten Liam Livingstone half-century a bright spot for Lancashire amid more rain

Liam Livingstone stands tall to drive Getty Images

Lancashire 110 for 3 (Livingstone 53*) lead Worcestershire 98 (Anderson 4-24, Onions 4-55) by 12 runs

Lancashire's hopes of securing a substantial first-innings lead were halted by the weather on day three of the Specsavers County Championship match with Worcestershire at Blackfinch New Road despite an unbeaten half century from Liam Livingstone.

The Division Two leaders had to kick their heels in frustration for nearly two days after bowling out Worcestershire for 98 on the opening day.

When the action finally resumed at 2.10pm on Wednesday, Lancashire recovered from a shaky start to reach 110 for 3 with Livingstone dominating an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 78 with Haseeb Hameed. But bad light halted play just 2.2 overs after tea with Livingstone on 53 and Hameed 22.

The resumption was the first action since the players left the pitch at 2.30pm on the first day after Worcestershire had been dismissed in 38.1 overs. More than 1,100 gallons of water were pumped off the outfield today after more heavy overnight rain

The home side needed to make early inroads after being bowled out so cheaply and club captain Joe Leach struck in his third over when he trapped Keaton Jennings lbw for 6.

Alex Davies, restored to the side in place of Jake Lehmann, looked in good form and cover drove and cut Charlie Morris for successive boundaries. Davies, who scored a century for the Second Eleven against Durham last week, picked up two more fours to third man in the next over from Morris.

But the introduction of Wayne Parnell into the attack brought about a double breakthrough with successive balls in his first over. Davies went for a drive and inside-edged a delivery from the left-armer onto his back pad and through to keeper Ben Cox. Then Parnell picked up another scalp when Rob Jones pushed forward and was beaten by a ball which hit his off stump.

Livingstone survived the hat-trick ball and then began to flourish in partnership with Haseeb Hameed. He pulled a delivery from debutant Adam Finch for four after he had replaced Leach and then took a shine to the bowling of Ed Barnard, cutting the England Lions all-rounder for four and then hoisting him over mid-wicket for six. The 50 stand between Livingstone and Hameed came up in 92 balls.

Finch was given an official warning by umpire Mark Newell for running on the pitch and was replaced in the attack after a four-over spell.

Livingstone completed his fifty shortly after tea with a single off Leach and his 68-ball knock contained eight fours and a six. But the players left the field shortly afterwards.

"I felt like I was hitting the ball well from last week," Livingstone said. "It was a bit tricky early on but got a bit easier as time went on.

"It is so frustrating when there is so much rain around. I felt in decent nick. It was about getting in and hopefully setting a foundation to try and get to 200 but the light has stopped us getting another point. Hopefully there is a miracle tomorrow and somehow this rain disappears."

Lancashire 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
14KK JenningsAL Davies
18AL DaviesH Hameed
0H HameedRP Jones
78LS LivingstoneH Hameed