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Report

Josh Bohannon a beacon as rain hampers Lancashire - Leicestershire match

Young batsman stranded two runs shy of maiden century

Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards
04-Jun-2019
Josh Bohannon, Lancashire v Worcestershire,County Championship Division Two, Southport, 31 August, 2018

Josh Bohannon in batting action  •  Getty Images

Lancashire449 (Livingstone 114, Bohannon 98*, Bailey 57, Croft 51) v Leicestershire
This has been a fine week for officials at Liverpool CC. While they could do nothing about the rain that allowed only one session's play on this second day, they have proved themselves perfectly capable of hosting first-class cricket, a claim some had doubted in the very recent past.
However, when this game is over and a review is taking place, someone should suggest the value of a scoreboard people can see in bright light. Many spectators squinted in vain at the small electric effort in the corner of the ground and their irritation was only aggravated by the placement of a completely blank, old-style board directly alongside its wretched counterpart. Perversely, of course, as the rain fell the dratted board displayed for hours the one number which had disappointed Lancashire supporters. Underneath No. 20 shone 98, the career-best score Josh Bohannon had made when last man Richard Gleeson edged Dieter Klein to Harry Swindells just before lunch.
Until that reverse Liverpool's green stage had offered fine cricket to a sparse audience. Indeed, the attendance on Tuesday morning suggested people might have paid too much attention to the regional weather forecast and nothing like enough to a microclimate which often ensures Aigburth remains dry while rain falls in the city centre. The most famous instance of this meteorological quiddity occurred late in Lancashire's championship season when Simon Kerrigan bowled his side to a tremendous victory over Hampshire while adjoining districts were cursed with storms, tempests and plagues of frogs.
Perhaps forgetting that day of glory, Merseyside folk remained by their hearths this morning, and that was a shame because those who stayed at home missed an entertaining session, albeit under lowering skies. The best fun was supplied by Bohannon and Tom Bailey, who had extended their eighth-wicket stand to 131 before Bailey carved Chris Wright to Neil Dexter on the deep point boundary. In the previous over Bailey had reached his fifth first-class fifty with a siege-gun six off Wright which arced over the sightscreen at the River End.
However, the changed balance of the contest was shown by Wright's almost impassive reaction to his dismissal of both Bailey and Graham Onions. By then the crowd's interest had shifted to Bohannon and the few dozen spectators wondered if he could reach his century.
He couldn't. All he was able to do was watch as Gleeson fenced fatally at Klein. Bohannon immediately turned on his heel and casually tossed his bat into the air, catching it in the manner of juggler with a club. It was the gentlest of gestures, one which revealed more phlegm than fury. Then, mindful of his responsibilities to his team, Bohannon slapped reconciliatory gloves with Gleeson as the pair returned to the pavilion.
Yet there is surely consolation available to this fine player, who only celebrated his 22nd birthday in April. Josh Bohannon, you see, gets county cricket in a way that cannot be coached. In just seven first-class matches he has proved himself well-suited to his chosen trade. And so when he scores his maiden hundred, which he should do quite soon, let us hope he achieves the feat before a few thousand spectators in a match blessed by generous skies and a kind sun.

Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and other publications

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Specsavers County Championship Division Two
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