Lancashire 140 for 3 (Davies 78*) trail Hampshire 451 (Rossouw 120*, Onions 5-96) by 311 runs
Alex Davies led the recovery for Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford as he finished the second day of their crucial Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire unbeaten on 78.
Replying to Hampshire's first-innings 451, Lancashire closed on 140 for 3 as Davies posted his highest score of the Division One season so far, surpassing a previous best of 71. However, Hampshire, boosted by a Rilee Rossouw century, will still be the happier at the halfway stage of a clash between two struggling teams. A couple of early wickets during the third morning will really see them in the driving seat.
With club captain Liam Livingstone on England Lions duty and veteran West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul missing for compassionate reasons, Lancashire's batting order has suffered a huge dent. Hampshire, meanwhile, are without South African pace bowler Dale Steyn as they have decided to rest him prior to their Royal London Cup final against Kent at Lord's on Saturday.
The Lancashire innings got off to a familiar start as they lost an early wicket. England opener Keaton Jennings gloved Gareth Berg behind for 4 to leave his side 7 for 1 before tea.
Haseeb Hameed's off-stump was sent cartwheeling by Fidel Edwards as he departed for 13 early in the evening. Hameed's poor run of form continues having now been out three times in a row offering no shot, and he averages just 7.00 in his seventh appearance this summer.
Rob Jones followed for just a single, as he too had his off stump uprooted by Kyle Abbott as the score slipped to 70 for 3 in the 25th over.
Despite the loss of wickets, wicketkeeper-batsman Davies remained positive by playing some crunching shots all around the ground. The 23-year-old reached a mature fifty off 87 balls with 10 fours. Dane Vilas - the stand-in captain for Livingstone - supported Davies and will aim to continue their unbroken 70-run alliance deep into the third morning.
Earlier, Rossouw crafted his 19th first-class class century as he finished the Hampshire first innings unbeaten on 120 off 189 balls.
They resumed the second day on 302 for 6, with Rossouw and Ollie Rayner unbeaten. But Rayner failed to trouble the scorers as Graham Onions had him trapped in front for a 24-ball duck.
That gave Onions his second five-wicket haul of the season after taking 6 for 55 at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire in mid-May. However, the hosts couldn't capitalise on the early wicket as they toiled in heightened Manchester temperatures.
A 67-ball 49 from Berg ensured Lancashire's bowlers felt the burn as the lead grew. Abbott and Edwards hung around with Rossouw, adding 61 for the last two wickets.