Angus Robson and Ned Eckersley batted extremely well to put Leicestershire back in the LV=CC game on the third day against Glamorgan at Cardiff.
The half-centurions shared 129 for the third wicket as Leicestershire reached 168-3 in their second innings, so the team will start day three 73 runs behind with seven wickets in hand.
Glamorgan will have been frustrated that rain wiped out 49.2 overs of play but Leicestershire were due a bit of fortune given they had been on the wrong end of the conditions on the first two days.
Robson slotted in nicely at number four earlier this season and is now showing great promise in a more accustomed role at the top of the order.
He followed up a classy 54 against Hampshire by showing bags of character in posting an unbeaten 72 from 154 deliveries.
Robson had scored five runs in three previous innings against Glamorgan in 2014 and the home attack had momentum going into today’s play given they dismissed Greg Smith last night. It was a big test in his developing career – and one passed with flying colours.
Eckersley also looked in good touch as he scored 68 (98b) while County will have Ramnaresh Sarwan’s experience in the morning given he ended the day on seven not out.
It was an impressive response to two extremely difficult days and gives Leicestershire a fighting chance to save the game.
County resumed 235 runs in arrears with nine second innings wickets intact and despite some morning rain, play was able to start on time. Leicestershire were in need of a solid passage of play and a tally of 119-1 in the morning session was just what the doctor ordered.
Robson struck Tom Helm’s first delivery of the day for four through square leg while Jigar Naik twice hit Michael Hogan for four, including a hook down to long leg. Helm (15-5-34-2) then picked up his second wicket as nightwatchman Naik (16, 36b) was unfortunate to see a delivery from the Cathedral Road End crash into his stumps off the inside edge.
Eckersley joined forces with Robson and although both batsmen edged attempted drives to offer extremely difficult chances as the session wore on, they generally played in a compact manner against testing bowling.
Robson collected his third boundary of the innings in the 14th over and Eckersley drove Jim Allenby to register his first four. Robson picked up a trio of braces in the 19th over from Allenby as the score passed 50 but the batsman did not have it all his own way. Allenby found the edge but Cosker couldn’t quite hold on to a diving chance in the gully.
The young opener produced a terrific drive off the returning Hogan as he progressed into the thirties. Eckersley survived a nick off Hogan that flew at height to Chris Cooke at second slip and the batsman made Glamorgan pay by pulling a two and driving for four off Will Owen.
A three for Robson took the stand to 50 and the occasional medium pace of Will Bragg was then introduced. The batsman drove Bragg for four but the seamer did cause some problems, and he was unlucky when a Robson edge went between keeper and slip and found the fence.
That boundary took County into three figures and Robson then moved to his fourth half-century of the season, with this latest effort coming from 85 balls (6x4). Robson then picked up three more fours from consecutive Owen deliveries – a drive between two cuts.
Glamorgan had an appeal against Robson for a catch at bat pad off Cosker in the next over but umpire Nigel Cowley. Eckersley picked off a two and three in the slow left armer’s next over and Leicestershire went in on 125-2 with Robson on 63 and Eckersley 42.
An Eckersley three took the stand into three figures, and the batsman then moved to a 69-ball 50 after lunch with a four off Cosker – the third of his innings. Eckersley lofted the spinner for a straight six later in the over and another boundary came in Helm’s next over.
Just when the batsman was looking in top form, another attempt to strike Cosker over the top proved unsuccessful as Hogan took the catch at mid-off. That brought Ramnaresh Sarwan to the crease and he cut Cosker away for four.
Robson put crease occupation at the top of his priority list during the afternoon session. The fact that the opener did not find the boundary in the 39 balls faced after lunch was testament to his diligent approach.
The players came off at 2.50pm and although umpires Cowley and Martin Bodenham made several inspections, conditions dictated that there was no further play. Leicestershire will be looking for a similar battling performance with the bat tomorrow.