County Championship: Lancashire openers hit back against Notts at Trent Bridge

Samit Patel was Nottinghamshire's top scorer with 67 against Lancashire at Trent Bridge before being caught behind off Tom Smith
Samit Patel was Nottinghamshire's top scorer with 67 before being caught behind off Tom Smith
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge, day three
Lancashire 276: Smith 70& 128-0: Smith 66*, Hameed 58*
Nottinghamshire 474: Patel 67, Wessels 62, Libby 54, Broad 46, Hutton 46
Nottinghamshire 8 pts, Lancashire 4 pts - Notts lead by 70 runs

Lancashire openers Tom Smith and Haseeb Hameed went a long way to saving the game against Nottinghamshire as they shared an unbroken 128-run partnership late on the third day at Trent Bridge.

The deposed Division One leaders ended up 198 behind on first innings after finally bowling out Notts for 474.

But they now look capable of drawing as Smith made 66 and Hameed 58 in helping them close on 128-0, 70 behind.

Samit Patel (67) and Riki Wessels (62) helped Notts get maximum bonus points.

After their departure following a 105-run sixth-wicket stand, England's Stuart Broad (46) then played an aggressive knock to see his side to a fifth batting point, when he brought up the 400 with the penultimate ball of the 110th over.

In a remarkable show of consistency down the order, all of Notts' top nine batsmen scored at least 30 as they batted until midway through the afternoon.

Neil Wagner, who took 11 wickets when Lancashire beat Notts at Old Trafford in April, again returned the best figures of 3-107.

The visitors looked in peril when they batted again, but were boosted by the first century stand by any combination of Lancashire openers since Paul Horton and Karl Brown put on 130 against Northants in 2015.

Nottinghamshire have only lost once in their last six games at home to Lancashire, whose sole win in their last six attempts was that eight-wicket Old Trafford victory earlier this season - which triggered Notts' current winless eight-match run.

Wicketkeeping woes at Trent Bridge

Notts had to dig deep into their wicketkeeping resources as, already denied the services of club skipper Chris Read, who failed a fitness test on a hand injury, they then lost his stand-in, Riki Wessels.

Taking a ball from Stuart Broad, he damaged a finger and left the field for treatment, leaving Brendan Taylor - a former international keeper with Zimbabwe - to take over the gloves.

Lancashire went into the game with similar wicketkeeping woes.

Captain Steven Croft has deputised for four games because Alex Davies is injured and Jos Buttler is on international duty.

'Imran Tahir can chip away' - Newell

Notts director of cricket Mick Newell:

"I'd like us to have taken some wickets. That would have been more beneficial. There's now going to be a lot of hard work to get those wickets.

"But we've got to believe Imran Tahir can chip away at one end, while we can support him and make a few things happen."

"It's a strange-looking scorecard. You expect one or two hundreds and maybe one or two failures, so everybody played nicely. It's a good wicket for batting and everybody got stuck in."

"Wessels hurt his middle finger diving to his left but he's a good lad. He's OK and he'll give it another go tomorrow."

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