Brown lays platform while Hameed shows promise
Lancashire 161 for 3 (Brown 80*) v Glamorgan
On a day when interruptions for rain refreshed the bowlers' energy and disturbed the batsmen's concentration, Lancashire's top order nevertheless made good progress in the game that could confirm their team's promotion to Division One.
Lancashire will regain their place at English cricket's top table if they beat Glamorgan at Old Trafford and a score of 161 for 3 suggests they have done some of the groundwork. Yet while victory may be hard to obtain over the next three days - the weather forecast for Sunday might dismay the most intrepid adventurer - promotion is surely only a matter of time and its achievement will give particular pleasure to Karl Brown.
Brown ended the day unbeaten on 80 and his innings was particularly praiseworthy given that he had strode out to bat on seven occasions, lunch and tea breaks included.
Had one been told when the season began that either Brown or Paul Horton would be released, one could have got quite short odds on it being the former. But Old Trafford announced on Thursday that Horton would not be given a new contract and 24 hours later Brown was making his seventh half-century in 12 Championship innings.
The short-term beneficiary of the decision to dispense with Horton's sterling services was Haseeb Hameed, who marked his debut by making 28 against Glamorgan and helping Brown put on 76 for Lancashire's first wicket.
Hameed's debut has been keenly awaited by Lancashire's more informed supporters and he certainly looked the part during his 149-minute innings before he was trapped leg before by Graham Wagg, the left-arm seamer, cannily bowling round the wicket to exploit Hameed's tendency to play through the on side.
Alviro Petersen then added 49 in 13 overs with Brown before he was caught by Chris Cooke at short extra cover for 29 when trying to drive David Lloyd through the off side. Brown, though, continued imperturbably onwards. Having reached his fifty off 124 balls with seven fours, he was well set at tea on 60 not out, at which point 40 overs remained to be bowled in the day's allocation.
Although only twelve of those overs were sent down, there was still time for Wagg to have Ashwell Prince caught at mid-wicket for four by Will Bragg. Thus Prince and Petersen's combined score of 33 was a mere 514 runs fewer than the pair had managed against Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay last month.
On that occasion even Wagg was unable to part them but the Glamorgan allrounder was the pick of his side's attack on the first day of this game and has now taken 38 Championship wickets in 2015, this in addition to his 736 runs.
Glamorgan will not win promotion to Division One in September but Wagg has still had a season to treasure.