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Lancashire shine before showers

Lancashire made a commanding start to their LV= County Championship match against Leicestershire before rain wiped out much of the opening day at Emirates Old Trafford.

The Division Two leaders need a maximum of 18 points from their last three matches to win promotion and 23 to finish as champions. They can achieve both this week and reached 92 without loss from 21 overs at lunch, after which no play was possible.

The entire morning session was played under floodlights and a predictable abandonment was announced at 4pm.

In-form opening duo Paul Horton, standing in as captain for injured Glen Chapple, and Luis Reece enjoyed themselves in a truncated morning after the hosts had been invited to bat, reaching 42 and 31 respectively.

It was a mixed performance with the ball from winless Leicestershire’s youthful attack. They induced a number of edges from the pair that went either wide or over the slips but also provided plenty of scoring opportunities.

There was a run of seven fours in 12 deliveries for both batsmen in the ninth and 10th overs. Reece hit three off Ollie Freckingham and Horton four off Nathan Buck, including one all-run.

The last of those fours, off the last ball of the 10th, brought up Lancashire's fifty.

While Horton scored his first century of the season in Lancashire's most recent win against Hampshire at Southport, left-hander Reece headed into this match boasting six fifties in as many innings.

Alex Davies and Oliver Newby were selected by Lancashire to make their first championship appearances of 2013, the former replacing Gareth Cross and Newby coming in for Chapple.

Leicestershire recalled Niall O’Brien, Tom Wells and Michael Thornely, with Josh Cobb, Shiv Thakor and the retiring Matthew Hoggard making way.

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