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Jon Culley at Old Trafford
May 5, 2010
Lancashire 292 v Somerset 155 for 4
Report : Confident Croft keeps Somerset at bay
Report : Trego tilts the game towards Somerset
Matches: Lancashire v Somerset at Manchester
Three wickets for Kyle Hogg, a late call-up, helped Lancashire cope without Saj Mahmood in the vanguard of their attack as Somerset ended a truncated day still with some rebuilding to do if they are to deliver a meaningful reply to what might turn out to be a competitive first-innings score by the home side.
Mahmood, who has a sore calf as a consequence of making an important 64-run contribution to Lancashire's disjointed 292 on the opening day, did not take the field for any of the 48.4 overs possible on day two and his fitness to bowl at all in this match is unclear.
Given that he had bowled so well against Warwickshire in the last round, Mahmood's absence was a blow to Lancashire but Hogg seized his chance well in the circumstances after the weather, which curtailed their attempt to beat Warwickshire and claim as third win in three Championship matches, gave the Manchester skyline a depressingly familiar look.
Persistent drizzle denied any play before lunch, after which the teams emerged in the hope of two full sessions only for dark clouds to settle over the ground and force another two hour stoppage for bad light.
Hogg would not have played had it not been for the injury to all-rounder Tom Smith but took his chance with both hands. Smith's non-appearance has had useful consequences all round for Lancashire, who were rewarded for promoting Luke Sutton to open in his stead what may prove a vital century from the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Hogg, now 26, has still to properly realise the potential he showed as a teenager, when he bowled with such obvious inherent ability that for a while it was hard to decide whether it was he or Jimmy Anderson who had the brighter future. Unfortunately, he has had his share of injury problems, which can be as much a psychological as a physical hindrance in a pace bowler's development. But at 6ft 4ins he has one natural threat that remains unaffected and he found a rhythm to make it work for him here in as eyecatching a performance as he has delivered for some time.
Successful with the last ball on Tuesday, he struck again with only his second ball of the day during the brief window for play after lunch. Nick Compton, playing forward defensively, was adjudged to have made thin contact as Sutton claimed a catch, although the hesitation that preceded his walk back may have been a matter of dismay at what was not the best of shots rather than any disagreement with the decision.
From 14-2, Marcus Trescothick did his best to organise a Somerset recovery and a 107-ball half century was evidence of his enduring quality as Glen Chapple ran in as willingly as ever with little luck and Daren Powell bowled with hostility but only intermittent threat.
It was when Hogg switched to the Stretford End for the first time that Trescothick met his match. There is a bit of variable bounce in this track and Hogg surprised the left-hander with one that leapt up as Sutton claimed another catch.
The wicket ended a partnership of 101 with Zander de Bruyn, who was himself leg before to left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan's flighted second ball as he tried to complete his half-century with a sweep.
The light quality dipped again but with Steven Croft bowling off spin at the other end the session reached its intended conclusion with James Hildreth and Jos Buttler probably relieved to reach the close with no further alarms.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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