Keedy and Kerrigan prosper
Left-arm spin duo Gary Keedy and Simon Kerrigan kept title-chasing Lancashire on top against Hampshire on day two of their LV= County Championship Division One clash at Aigburth.
The visitors, who are looking for a victory that could help them avoid relegation from Division One, made a commanding start to their first innings thanks to openers Jimmy Adams and Liam Dawson.
Replying to 388, in which Lancashire captain Glen Chapple top-scored with 97, the pair shared 103 in 37 overs for the first wicket and posted 54 each.
But Lancashire’s decision to play two spinners looks to be a wise one. Keedy finished with 3-58 from 24 unbroken overs and Kerrigan 2-85 from 31 as Hampshire closed on 229 for five.
Dawson’s was his highest championship score since he made 60 against Sussex in early May, while Adams backed up last year’s marathon 194 off 508 balls on this ground.
Dawson brought up his fifty off 107 balls before tea but failed to make it to the break because he was bowled by a Kerrigan quicker ball.
Keedy then got in on the act with the last ball of the afternoon, bowling Michael Carberry around his legs, leaving the score at 118 for two after 44 overs.
Adams, who scored a double hundred in his side’s win over Somerset last week, then notched his fifty off 132 balls. But he was the first of two wickets to fall in eight balls.
The left-hander edged Kerrigan to a diving Paul Horton at first slip, who also snared James Vince for one in his left hand off Keedy. By that stage, Hampshire were 143 for four in the 52nd.
Neil McKenzie and Sean Ervine, in typically combative mood on the way to 52 not out, added 43 for the sixth wicket before the former edged Keedy behind after making 29.
Ervine, dropped on 47 by wicketkeeper Gareth Cross off Kerrigan, and Michael Bates then advanced the score from 186 for five.
Earlier, Lancashire missed out on the maximum of five batting points after starting the day on 337 for seven. Dimitri Mascarenhas took two of the three wickets to fall, accounting for Chapple and Kyle Hogg.
The lower-order duo shared 116 for the eighth wicket, a Lancashire record for that wicket against Hampshire. Left-arm spinner Danny Briggs accounted for Keedy as Kerrigan finished with a career best 18 not out.