An unbeaten 61 by opener Luke Wells helped Lancashire have the better of a rain-shortened second day of their LV= Insurance County Championship against Northamptonshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
When the wet weather brought an early end to play with 37.5 overs still to bowl, the home side were 121 for one in reply to Northamptonshire’s 342.
Rather than build on the good work done by the centurion Emilio Gay and Luke Procter on the first day, Northamptonshire’s later batsmen rather squandered the advantage, losing their last five wickets for 40 runs in less than 80 minutes’ play, the final four of them to the spinners, Jack Morley and Tom Hartley, for 13 runs in 28 balls.
The first to go was Saif Zaib, who was adjudged to have edged behind when making contact with the ground looking to drive out of the rough. The spinners soon took over and nightwatchman Dom Leech was the next to be dismissed when he came down the pitch to Morley and was stumped.
Lewis McManus slog-swept Morley for a six over square leg but departed in the next over when he looked to go over the top down the ground. In the next over James Sales was bowled by a fine ball from Morley which turned sharply and hit middle stump and the innings ended when Jack White gloved a catch to Salt off Hartley. Morley finished with three for 87 and George Balderson, three for 44.
Wells and Keaton Jennings survived the mini session before lunch though without looking particularly comfortable. White and Leech both narrowly beat the bat on a number of occasions and the legspin of Russell could have accounted for Jennings LBW when he offered no shot in the final over.
The pair had put on 114 and both gone to respective half centuries when Jennings opener was leg before wicket for 55 when attempting to reverse-sweep slow left-armer Zaib, the sixth bowler Procter had called upon.
That would be the last real action of the day though as heavy rain rolled in on the stroke of tea, washing out the final session.