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Lancashire, Nottinghamshire head towards soggy draw

Asitha Fernando takes two wickets but debutant Matty Hurst unbeaten on 35 overnight

Asitha Fernando in his delivery stride, Kent vs Nottinghamshire, Canterbury, September 13, 2023

Asitha Fernando took two wickets for Notts  •  Getty Images

Lancashire 225 for 6 (Croft 45) vs Nottinghamshire
Lancashire made 225 for 6 on a rain-shortened third day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Emirates Old Trafford. This game is steadily heading towards a draw, having already lost two days to the weather.
Steven Croft top-scored for the hosts with 45 while 20-year-old Matty Hurst made an assured unbeaten 35 on debut after openers Keaton Jennings and Luke Wells had posted 84 for the first wicket.
Stephen Mullaney and Asitha Fernando claimed two wickets apiece for the visitors, who had opted to bowl first, as they hit back mid-morning with a three-wicket burst in an even contest.
Jennings and Wells produced a positive response, after skipper Mullaney won the toss, with an excellent and sometimes attacking partnership during the opening 20 overs as the Nottinghamshire bowlers initially appeared to struggle on a slow pitch.
The Lancashire openers took advantage of any full deliveries with Jennings in particular striking early boundaries that swiftly took the Red Rose captain past the 10,000 first-class runs landmark.
The fifty partnership arrived from 84 balls with Mullaney rotating his attack in the hunt for a breakthrough and that arrived from the first ball of the 21st over when Wells, having driven nicely thus far, missed a full-pitched ball from Fernando to be bowled for 28.
That was the first of three wickets to fall for seven runs in three overs as Mullaney (2 for 32) then had Jennings lbw for 42, playing forward defensively but adjudged to have got pad to the ball fractionally before bat, and Josh Bohannon well taken at the second attempt by wicketkeeper Tom Moores standing up for 6.
George Bell hit five boundaries in a bright and breezy 26 either side of lunch before inside edging another full delivery from Fernando (2 for 31) onto his middle stump. George Balderson followed one run later after edging behind off Brett Hutton to leave the hosts 133 for 5, and it took a partnership of 48 runs between veteran allrounder Croft and debutant Hurst to steady the Lancashire innings.
Croft, playing his first four-day game since July, hit eight boundaries in his 45 before departing to a great catch by Matt Montgomery at bad/pad off Calvin Harrison. That was reward for the legspinner who had Hurst dropped on 8 at short midwicket in his first over.
Once settled, Hurst mixed some trademark attacking shots, that included lofting Harrison for four over midwicket, with solid defence in a determined 80-ball innings.
Tom Bailey (19 not out) thumped the only six of the day off Harrison but two balls later rain arrived to take the players off the pitch with 35 overs left and an hour later the umpires abandoned play for the day at 5pm.

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County Championship Division One