Prince hundred rescues Lancashire
A brilliant century by Ashwell Prince rescued relegation-threatened Lancashire in their LV= County Championship Division One match against Somerset at Aigburth.
The South African made 129 as Glen Chapple's side recovered from 50 for six to post 242 in their second innings, thus setting their title-chasing opponents a target of 279 to win on a slow Liverpool wicket.
By the close Somerset had reached 22 for one, Arul Suppiah having been trapped lbw by Chapple for four in the third over.
Prince reached three figures with an off-drive off Alfonso Thomas, the man who had dropped him off his own bowling on six, and he eventually batted 318 minutes, facing 213 balls and hitting 13 fours in his epic performance.
It was the 35-year-old batsman's fourth century in his 45th innings for the county and he is now the second highest run-scorer in championship cricket this season.
Prince's effort could not have been better timed given that Lancashire had made a disastrous start to their second innings, losing six wickets inside 18 chaotic overs during the morning session.
Peter Trego began the collapse when he bowled Paul Horton with the fifth ball of the day, but the home batsmen soon found other ways to get themselves dismissed.
A disastrous mix-up led to Stephen Moore being run out for a single and Karl Brown was lbw playing no shot to Steve Kirby. That left Lancashire on seven for three after 21 balls, but even worse was to follow.
Steven Croft's irresponsible slash to Thomas only succeeded in under-edging the ball onto his stumps and the same bowler removed Andrea Agathangelou's middle pole when the championship debutant paid the penalty for attempting an ambitious drive.
When Thomas and Craig Kieswetter combined well to run out Gareth Cross, Lancashire had a lead of only 86 and just four wickets in hand.
However, Prince found a dependable partner in Kyle Hogg, with whom he added 98 for the seventh wicket to seize the initiative for his side.
After Hogg was caught at mid-off by Kirby off Jack Leach for a determined 38, Prince shared useful stands with Chapple and Ajmal Shahzad to take Lancashire's lead above 200. His 38-run last-wicket partnership with Simon Kerrigan rubbed further salt into the bowlers' wounds.
The Somerset attack stuck to their task well and slow left-armer Leach took his first championship wickets, finishing with 2-37. Trego took 2-60 and Thomas 2-54.