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Lancs and Notts poised at halfway

Highlights from day two at Liverpool

Nottinghamshire's Steven Mullaney scored 82 against former county Lancashire but could not prevent the hosts enjoying the better of day two in the LV= County Championship One match at Liverpool.

The title-chasers responded to the Red Rose’s 225 with 261 all out inside 88 overs, a score that Mullaney underpinned with 12 fours in 149 balls having been dropped four times.

Lancashire, faced with 30 overs of batting before the close, reached 55 for two from 13 before bad light interrupted play at 5.30pm.

The players did not return, meaning the hosts will begin tomorrow 19 ahead with Ashwell Prince and Usman Khawaja at the crease. Seventeen overs were lost.

Dramatic dark clouds play a part in bringing an early close on day two at Aigburth, with Lancashire versus Nottinghamshire well poised

Notts would have been in a far stronger position but for the loss of their last five wickets for 26 runs, including their last four for nine in 22 balls.

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple took three of the last four to finish with 4-73 from 22 overs, having taken his first wicket five balls into the day when he had Michael Lumb caught behind as the score fell to 69 for two in the 25th.

Mullaney's fourth life came when Andrea Agathangelou missed a tough diving chance at second slip off Kabir Ali's first delivery, with the right-hander on 62.

Nottinghamshire got themselves into a healthy position in testing conditions with two partnerships of 64 - one for the third wicket between Mullaney and James Taylor and one for the sixth between Rikki Wessels and Chris Read.

Wessels and Read advanced the score from 171 for five in the early stages of the afternoon after Tom Smith struck three times, including Mullaney trapped lbw before lunch.

Wessels made 46 but his dismissal was the first of five quick wickets as he was caught behind by a juggling Jos Buttler off Steven Croft's off-spinners.

Chapple, with the second new ball, then bowled Peter Siddle, had Read held at cover off a top-edged pull and got Luke Fletcher caught at mid-on before Kyle Hogg had a swinging Andre Adams taken at deep midwicket to wrap up the innings.

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple bowls Peter Siddle amid an excellent spell that rattled through the Nottinghamshire tail

Lancashire will be well in the game with a lead of 200 or above but they lost both their openers, Agathangelou and Paul Horton, to Australia seamer Siddle, who is playing his last match before heading home for international duty.

Agathangelou was caught behind in the first over and Horton departed in similar fashion in the seventh.

Stephen Parry, meanwhile, will replace Lancashire's England bound spinner Simon Kerrigan ahead of the start of day three.

Mullaney said: "It wasn't my most fluent innings by any means, but it's not my fault I got dropped.

"I just tried to make the most of it and luckily today I made them pay and got 80-odd. It would have been nice to get a hundred but coming back and doing well against your former county is always nice.”

Chapple added: "I think at the moment, 20 in front, two down, with them having to bat last on the pitch, I think we'd say we're right in the game.

"The pitch has shown that when the sun's out it plays really well and when there's some cloud around, it's a bit more difficult for batting.

"It's going to be an exciting game, there's no doubt about that.”

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