Red Rose set up victory push

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Lancashire still had work to do in their bid for a first LV= County Championship win of the season at the seventh attempt despite strong performances with bat and ball during an entertaining third day against Middlesex at Aigburth.

After Ajmal Shahzad completed an impressive haul of 4-40 to wrap up Middlesex's first innings for 230 in reply to 392 during the morning session, the champions opted not to enforce the follow-on.

Paul Horton hit 89 and Karl Brown 76, both off 114 balls, as they declared their second innings on 266 for eight from 54 overs, leaving the visitors a target of 429 from a minimum of 110 overs.

But Lancashire failed to take a wicket in the 14 overs before the close as Chris Rogers and Sam Robson took their side to 29 without loss.

Part-time leg-spinner Dawid Malan claimed career-best figures of 5-61, although four of those were definitely gifted in the Red Rose's pursuit of quick runs.

Earlier, Middlesex lost their last five first-innings wickets for 48 after starting the day at 155 for five.

Paul Horton

Paul Horton prospers through the off side during an innings of 89 that helped Lancashire to declare with a lead of 428 on day three at Aigburth

Neil Dexter top-scored with 47 and wicketkeeper John Simpson added 43 but the pair's sixth-wicket stand of 87 was broken when the former edged Glen Chapple behind to Gareth Cross in the 57th over.

Simpson was trapped lbw by Simon Kerrigan, his former team-mate in Lancashire's second team and at club level with Ormskirk, in the 60th and Middlesex were 188 for seven.

Ollie Rayner was then well caught at second slip by Ashwell Prince to hand Shahzad his third wicket.

Gareth Berg picked out the same fielder at cover off Kerrigan shortly afterwards and when Shahzad had Corey Collymore caught at first slip by Horton, Middlesex were 13 runs short of avoiding the follow-on and Shahzad had his Lancashire best.

Stephen Moore fell to Tim Murtagh early in Lancashire's second innings before Horton and Brown extended their side's lead with some eye-catching strokeplay and aggressive running during a second-wicket stand of 130.

Rayner and a run out accounted for the wickets of Gareth Cross and Chapple but otherwise it was Malan, who generally bowled either too short or too full, who capitalised as the Lancashire batsmen's eyes lit up.

Horton holed out to Eoin Morgan at mid-on to signal tea, Prince was stumped by Simpson as he advanced down the track and Brown was caught behind as the ball looped up off bat and pad when playing to leg.

After hitting a waist-high full toss for four and a long-hop for six, Steven Croft found Dexter at deep backward square-leg before Shahzad skied one to Robson at long-off.

Lancashire lost four wickets for 16 in 14 balls to slip from 250 for four as a total of 370 runs were scored and 13 wickets taken in the day.

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