Lancashire v Northants: Prince and Croft put Lancs in control

LV= County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford

Close, day one: Lancashire 384-4 v Northants

Lancashire 4 pts, Northants 1 pt

Match scorecard

A fourth-wicket partnership of 332 from Ashwell Prince and Steven Croft put Lancashire in control on day one at Old Trafford against Northamptonshire.

The hosts made a sloppy start, falling to 33-3 as Steven Crook took two early wickets, before Prince and Croft frustrated the visitors.

Croft (156) was eventually caught at slip off the bowling of Andrew Hall but Prince ended the day unbeaten on 161.

At the close, Lancashire were 384-4, in a strong position going into day two.

Into the history books

Prince and Croft's partnership of 332 (only 26 short of the county fourth-wicket record) was the third-highest by a Lancashire pair at Old Trafford and the ninth-highest in the club's history.

Croft's 156 was his highest score for Lancashire and his best in first-class cricket.

Prince, who hit 20 boundaries and spent more than five-and-a-half hours at the crease, also hit his biggest ever score for Lancashire.

After Croft was eventually dismissed, Jos Buttler added an unbeaten 13.

James Middlebrook (0-75) was the most expensive of Northamptonshire's bowling attack on a tough day in the field for the visitors, who lost the toss.

Lancashire all-rounder Steven Croft told BBC Radio Manchester:

"When we were 33-3, the main aim was just to repair the innings.

"Me and Ashwell were just going up in five runs at a time. Even when we passed 300, we carried on going up in five runs at a time. When 100 came, then 200 and 300 it was nice and it seemed to work for us.

"It's nice to get a few records but just putting us into a strong position is what me and Ashwell are pleased about.

"I didn't have a good start to the season but hopefully I've cemented my place in the side and keep scoring some more runs."