Slater continues to break records on day three
DAY THREE | Lancashire CCC 322 & 96 for 3 v Leicestershire 409 for 8 dec.
SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE
REPORT | Leicestershire’s debutant Ben Slater continued to break records after setting his own career-best score of 172 as well as breaking Leicestershire’s highest first-class score against Lancashire of 158 which was set by Willie Watson back in 1961.
Slater was also half of the duo that set the third wicket partnership for Leicestershire against Lancashire as he and captain Colin Ackermann posted 165 breaking a 91-year old record.
Centurion Ben Slater emerged once again to take his place at the crease alongside the Running Foxes captain Colin Ackermann as day three got underway.
The foundations were truly set by the 153-run first wicket partnership of Hassan Azad and Slater in day two and the aim for Leicestershire will now be to build on that and accelerate past Lancashire’s first innings score of 322 with only 50 overs of the first innings remaining.
Ackermann began to set the tone of the day with a four off his first ball faced as he cut Ed Moulton to the leg-side boundary off the back foot.
Leicestershire reached their first milestone of the morning as Ben Slater squirted Tom Bailey out into the leg-side to bring 200 up for the Running Foxes, and with it their first batting bonus point.
A 15-minute shower in Worcestershire momentarily halted proceedings as the umpires pulled both teams back into their respective make-shift pavilions.
Once the teams emerged for the second time in the morning, the Running Foxes and Colin Ackermann in-particular came out with a new air of intent after the South African hit boundaries in consecutive overs which placed his first half-century of the season within touching distance.
The Skipper soon joined Ben Slater and Hassan Azad in claiming his half-century which came from 88 balls, including seven fours.
The break for lunch came with the Lancashire attack somewhat containing the duo of Slater (143) and Ackermann (67) as the Running Foxes struggled to pick up runs.
Only 20 overs remained in the first innings with Leicestershire still trailing by 48 as they sat on 274 for two.
Slater came out of the lunch break firing on all cylinders as he surpassed the 150-run mark which came up in 321 balls, including nineteen fours.
Only two overs later and he sent Tom Bailey – the pick of the Lancashire bowlers – for back-to-back maximums to really accelerate the Leicestershire scoring rate.
Unfortunately, Slater’s show came to an end soon after as he lofted a Bailey delivery to Josh Bohannon at mid-off.
He posted a career best 172, and set a new highest score for Leicestershire against Lancashire which was previously held by Willie Watson who posted 158 in 1961.
George Rhodes replaced Slater at the crease and was not wasting any time as he immediately hit Ed Moulton for back-to-back fours.
Rhodes’ visit was short lived though as he reached for wider Bailey delivery and guided it straight to Dane Vilas at extra cover. He made a quickfire 11 and Leicestershire looked to ramp up the scoring rate further as they headed into the final 11 overs.
Tom Taylor replaced Rhodes in the middle and looked to partner Ackermann as his captain approached his century.
However, Ackermann would only make it as far as 94 before being run-out – following some efficient fielding from Keaton Jennings - looking for a second run to keep the score ticking over. Leicestershire were now 359 for five.
Two balls later, and Taylor was joining his captain back in the make-shift pavilion as he was pinned LBW by Balderson for 15.
Harry Swindells and Ben Mike now occupied the crease as they looked to see out the remaining seven overs.
Swindells’ appearance was also short lived after Hartley got his own back for being hit for four a ball earlier, as he bowled the wicket-keeper batsman for five. Dieter Klein joined Mike at the crease.
The duo of Mike and Klein were looking to finish with a flurry to extend the Leicestershire lead as much as possible before the 120 overs came to an end, but the partnership could not see the remaining overs out.
With Leicestershire on 399, Mike looked to send Hartley back over his head and over the boundary only to be caught in the deep by Bohannon for 16.
Callum Parkinson joined Klein with two overs remaining and immediately got off the mark after running a quick single off the bowling of Balderson to bring up the Running Foxes’ 400.
Parkinson then finished the same over with a maximum after hitting Balderson through the off-side and over the rope. This prompted Leicestershire to declare on 409 for eight to signal the end of the first innings in Worcestershire, as they occupied an 87-run lead.
Tom Taylor began the second innings as he took the cherry with Keaton Jennings on strike as Leicestershire were looking for quick wickets to get their second innings underway.
Lancashire started brightly in the remaining seven overs of the second session as Jennings and Alex Davies made a quickfire 35.
However, the story was different following the tea break as Chris Wright claimed an early wicket after his delivery looped up off Jennings and made its way out to George Rhodes at third slip who took an easy catch.
Jennings failed to make it into double figures for the second time in the game as he went for eight, and Lancashire were 35 for one.
Ben Mike was introduced into the Leicestershire attack alongside Callum Parkinson and thought he had made his own breakthrough before the umpire did not comply with his and his teammates appeals.
However, in his next over he finally had his first of the season as he pinned Josh Bohannon (3) plumb lbw.
Leicestershire had their second of the day and were making hay in their pursuit of Lancashire who had posted 59 runs so far.
However, the arrival of Rob Jones alongside Alex Davies put the brakes on Leicestershire’s momentum.
Davies was the batsman in form at the crease for Lancashire as he brought up his half-century which came from 75 balls, including eight fours.
Just as Lancashire looked to have an air of control about play, Callum Parkinson nipped in with the big wicket of Alex Davies for 54.
The spinner’s delivery stayed low and deceived the batsman who was looking to put it away through the leg-side but was pinned in front instead. Lancashire now sat on 83 for three.
The duo of Dane Vilas and Rob Jones saw out the remaining overs as Lancashire take a nine-run lead heading into the final day of Bob Willis Trophy action at Blackfinch New Road.
Figures (1st inns) | Bailey 25-9-63-2, Moulton 25-4-94-0, Hartley 33-5-117-3, Lamb 15-1-53-0, Balderson 20-1-75-2, Croft 1-0-6-0
Figures (2nd inns) | Taylor 10-3-28-0, Wright 8-4-18-1, Parkinson 6-2-11-1, Mike 7-2-15-1, Klein 8-2-13-0
TEAM | Hassan Azad, Ben Slater, Harry Dearden, Colin Ackermann (C), George Rhodes, Harry Swindells (wk), Tom Taylor, Ben Mike, Callum Parkinson, Dieter Klein, Chris Wright.
Lancashire CCC | Alex Davies (wk), Keaton Jennings, Josh Bohannon, Rob Jones, Dane Vilas (c), Steven Croft, Danny Lamb, George Balderson, Tom Bailey, Tom Hartley, Ed Moulton.
IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallett of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game.