• Specsavers County Championship 3m

    Livingstone inspires Lancashire turnaround

    Liam Livingstone smashed a magnificent 168 to transform Lancashire's fortunes against Somerset

    If, as many presume, Liam Livingstone figures in the England selectors’ thoughts this summer, he might just view this game with Somerset as the moment where it all clicked


    The 23-year-old, who is standing in as skipper for the injured Steven Croft, has totally dominated both of Lancashire’s inning's in this captivating Specsavers County Championship Division One tussle scoring an entertaining 68 on the first day before reaching his highest first-class score of 168 on the third.

    Highlights - Lancashire v Somerset Day 3

    Liam Livingstone smashed a magnificent 168 to transform Lancashire's fortunes against Somerset.

    Livingstone said there is still a lot of work to do: "We knew we were under pressure this morning but Alex and I bat well together and we built a decent partnership. Hopefully we've given ourselves a chance to push on tomorrow morning and see what happens tomorrow afternoon.

    "I wouldn't say we are in a position of strength yet because I still think the pitch is fairly decent but it is definitely getting worse and hopefully that will accelerate tomorrow afternoon.

    In doing so, he and fellow century-maker Alex Davies, who made his second ton of the season, dragged their county back into this contest with Lancashire finishing the day on 423-7 with a more than useful lead of 254 going into the final day.
    Resuming on 152-2 and with sunny skies above, Livingstone and Davies both reached their centuries before batting through to lunch with few problems, apart from a worrying moment when the captain was struck on his hand by Craig Overton and required treatment. 
    If the injury did affect the 23-year-old, it was not obvious as Livingstone proceeded to smash Jack Leach out of the Emirates Old Trafford for an almighty six over midwicket before bringing up his century with another maximum off the same bowler.
    Davies was slightly more circumspect but his ability to find gaps in the field and his desire to scamper for quick singles was of equal annoyance to an increasingly fed up looking Somerset outfit. Wickets continued to be at a premium until just before tea when two fell in one over from Somerset's Craig Overton as this fascinating game swung back towards the visitors after almost four hours of batting dominance from Lancashire.
    Overton first trapped Rob Jones lbw for 35 before three balls later Dane Vilas departed the same way without scoring as Lancashire went into the tea break at 357-5 with a lead of 188. 
     Earlier Davies had become the first wicket of the day when he fell lbw to Lewis Gregory for a superb 130 with the dismissal bringing to an end a mammoth partnership of 245 for the third wicket with Livingstone. 
    Livingstone eventually became the sixth wicket to fall after skying a delivery from the patient Leach to Dean Elgar, but he departed after facing 306 balls, having been at the crease for almost seven hours and with all thoughts that he is primarily a limited overs batsman extinguished.
    From then on Lancashire showed admirable patience as Ryan McClaren and Steven Parry set about frustrating the Somerset bowlers further following the departure of Jordan Clark whose charge down the pitch provided Steven Davies with a swift stumping opportunity off Leach. 
    The pair had put on 44 for the eighth wicket by the close, setting up what could be a thrilling conclusion if the weather and Lancashire’s nerve holds steady.  

    Matthew Maynard, director of Somerset cricket said: "Both Liam and Alex played really well - they were very patient and got Lancashire out of quite a lot of trouble. 

    "But we are still in the game and we have a great opportunity to clinch it tomorrow. There is a really good atmosphere in the team and some real fight and I think we showed that today."


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