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Ton-up Horton boosts Red Rose

Surrey CCC

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Opener Paul Horton posted his second hundred of the LV= County Championship season to leave Lancashire in command on 245 for three after the first day against Surrey in Guildford.

Horton, who turns 30 in September, reached his 15th first-class ton from 219 balls, with 14 fours, as a lacklustre Surrey attack struggled to take wickets in between the showers.

Despite three short breaks in the Division One clash for rain, bad light and lightning, Horton kept his concentration for over four and a half hours.

Paul Horton

Paul Horton celebrates reaching 50 at Guildford. The opener eventually went on to three figures as Lancashire dominated day one against Surrey

Having lost the toss, Lancashire batted with due caution throughout the first session on a slow Woodbridge Road pitch that will have spent hours sweating under covers in recent days and weeks.

They reached 47 without alarm until Stephen Moore misjudged a Stuart Meaker in-ducker to go leg before for 24 and give Surrey their sole success of the morning session.

Karl Brown then combined in a three-figure stand with Horton, but was fortunate to survive a regulation catch at slip when acting Surrey skipper Gareth Batty downed the chance off Chris Tremlett.

Brown was one short of his half-century when a meek attempted dab ended with him edging Meaker to Steven Davies.

The weather deteriorated mid-afternoon, leading to an early tea, two further breaks and the overall loss of 18 overs in the day.

Yet Horton refused to budge and duly reached his century with a leg-glanced two off Murali Kartik.

The right-hander perished soon after when he followed one from Tremlett to edge to slip, where Batty made amends by holding on to a sharp chance to his left.

Though Batty tried six bowlers, including his own off-spin as well as Kartik’s more wristy delights, Surrey's attack rarely threatened.

South Africa left-hander Ashwell Prince dug in thereafter and, worryingly for Surrey followers, will go into the second day unbeaten with 32.

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