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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Lyndon James, Tom Moores rough up Lancashire’s bowlers


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Mullaney’s declaration challenged Vilas’s batsmen to score 444 in a little over four sessions

Lancashire168 and 115 for 1 (Wells 57*, Balderson 45*) need 329 runs vs Nottinghamshire 272 and 339 for 8 dec (Moores 97, James 91, Bailey 3-84)

The morning’s warm haze was replaced by the evening’s sharply cut shadows on the third day of this match at Trent Bridge and in similar fashion the precise shape of the contest became clear. Rather than dismiss their opponents and thereby determine their side’s own victory target, Lancashire’s bowlers were roughed up by Lyndon James and Tom Moores in the first half of this day.

As a consequence, Steven Mullaney’s declaration challenged Dane Vilas’s batsmen to score 444 in a little over four sessions. It would be Lancashire’s second-highest fourth-innings total in their history after their gloriously doomed 464 at The Oval in 2007 and it would also be the ninth-highest fourth-innings score ever made to win a County Championship game. Supporters who believe they will manage it have been placed in the care of kind friends.

No doubt Vilas is in bullish mood. One can imagine Lancashire’s top order telling each other they will bat normally and see where they are an hour before tea on the fourth afternoon. The truth, one suspects, is that the visitors would accept a draw and the eight points that would keep them well in contention to win the title. It looks as though the slow left-armer, Liam Patterson-White, will have a lot of work to do tomorrow and that the second new ball will be significant on a pitch that is easing. But scoring 444 to win a game represents a summit of which few current players have any knowledge.

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