Lancs respond after Sean Ervine hits century for Hants

LV County Championship Division One, Liverpool
Close, day three: Lancashire 388 & 195-2, Hampshire 381
Hampshire 7pts, Lancashire 6pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary

Title-chasing Lancashire ended day three back in charge at Aigburth as they built a 202-run overnight lead over relegation-threatened Hampshire.

Hampshire's Sean Ervine dominated the day's opening session, hitting 128 as the visitors piled up 381 - just seven runs adrift on first innings.

But Lancashire responded well on 195-2, Paul Horton hitting 96 in an opening stand of 156 with Stephen Moore (77).

Horton was out in the nervous nineties for the fourth time this season.

Subject to the weather, a result is firmly on the cards, with both sides now desperately needing to win.

Lancashire are in the ascendancy, but Hampshire are likely to chase whatever total they are set as they look to win their fourth match in five and keep up their defiant battle against the drop.

The home side were frustrated by Ervine's first Championship century of the season - his third ton in his last 10 innings against the Red Rose.

Left-arm spinner Gary Keedy finished with figures of 5-93 from 37 overs after picking up the wickets of Michael Bates, brilliantly caught one-handed by a diving Karl Brown at short cover, and Chris Wood, snared by Simon Kerrigan at mid-off.

Fellow spinner Kerrigan, Glen Chapple and part-time off-spinner Steven Croft also struck once apiece to help wrap up the innings.

Horton and Moore then shared their highest opening partnership of the summer, 168 in 45 overs, batting positively without being reckless.

Horton, in particular, was not afraid to use his feet against Danny Briggs, but the slow left-arm spinner finally did for him when, looking for a boundary for his ton, the opener top-edged a sweep to long leg.

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple promoted himself up the order to number three but, having hit just 13 off 11 balls, also fell to a top-edge off Briggs.

CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY

BBC Radio Lancashire's Liam Bradford:

"This game is still winnable by both sides. If you're anywhere near Aigburth tomorrow, get down here, it could be a brilliant day's cricket.

"Lancashire look to have wrestled control of this game but appearances can be deceptive.

"They'll need to get to 300 quickly and then declare to stand any chance of a positive result."