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Lancashire reign amid rain

Lancashire are on course for their sixth win of the season despite a rain-affected third day of the LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Having forced the home side to follow-on 226 runs behind, the Red Rose reduced them to  at stumps, still trailing by 98 runs.

The biggest threat to top-of-the-table Lancashire's hopes of their fourth win in the last five games looks to be a poor weather forecast for the final day.

Leicestershire resumed on 127 for seven, still needing 104 runs to save the follow-on, and managed only 27 in 9.1 overs.

James Sykes edged behind off Tom Smith, who also had Ollie Freckingham caught in the slips before left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan brought the innings to a close by trapping Matthew Hoggard lbw without scoring. Smith and Kerrigan finished with 3-35 and 3-52 respectively amid Leciestershire’s 154 all out

Their second innings could not have started in worse fashion with Greg Smith pinned  lbw first ball by a swinging yorker from Kyle Hogg. Fellow opener Michael Thornely soon followed, providing Simon Katich with an easy catch off the same bowler at mid-off.

Ned Eckersley and Shiv Thakor offered some resistance until a dreadful mix-up saw the former run-out for 25 when he was sent back going for a third run and failed to beat Paul Horton's excellent throw from the deep.

That made it 41 for three shortly before lunch, at which point rain began to fall and the players went off. They did not return until four hours later, with 43 overs lost.

Glen Chapple quickly claimed the fourth wicket on the resumption, with Thakor clipping a catch to square-leg on 14.

A half-century stand between Matt Boyce and Niall O'Brien put the brakes on Lancashire's progress for 16 overs until the former, on 27, chased a wide delivery from Andrea Agathangelou and edged to wicketkeeper Gareth Cross.

But O'Brien and Tom Wells, unbeaten on 35 and 10 respectively, saw Leicestershire through to the close and will now hope that rain may play a major part on the final day.