County Championship: Keaton Jennings helps Lancashire set up victory chance at Hampshire

Home » County Championship: Keaton Jennings helps Lancashire set up victory chance at Hampshire
Vitality County Championship Division One, Utilita Bowl (day three)
Hampshire: 367 & 39-2: Williams 2-12
Lancashire: 484: Jennings 172, Bell 99; Dawson 4-156
Hampshire (4 pts) trail Lancashire (5 pts) by 78 runs

Keaton Jennings hit a fine century to ease Lancashire into a large first-innings lead over Hampshire at Utilita Bowl.

Five batters – Nick Gubbins, James Vince, Tom Prest, Liam Dawson and Luke Wells – had scored fifties without converting to three figures in the first fixture at the newly renamed ground.

But Jennings turned his overnight 85 into 172 and 21-year-old George Bell brilliantly accompanied him – but he ran himself out for 99 with a maiden first-class century at his fingertips.

Lancashire were eventually bowled out for 484 – with Liam Dawson picking up 4-156 – boasting a 117-run lead. Hampshire lost two wickets to Will Williams before the close as they reached 39-2.

Former Test opener Jennings reached his 28th first-class century in 234 balls with an effortless cover drive. Jennings moved through 150 with Lancashire reaching 350 before the bonus points ended.

The 40th over of the day finally ended the 166-run stand between Jennings and Bell, as Dawson pinned Jennings while he played a reverse sweep.

Bell’s 50 came in 132 balls, with a century seeming inevitable – despite seeing Dawson have Matthew Hurst caught at first slip and Tom Bailey lbw.

In the 90s he took off for a single when one was needed for a fine first ton. A run was never really in the offering, something Jack Blatherwick recognised and sent him back but too late for Ian Holland to directly hit from point.

It was the second time that Bell had fallen in the 90s with a century surely not far away.

Dawson’s tireless twirling away for 49 overs concluded by bowling Williams, before James Fuller claimed his second of the innings when Blatherwick edged behind.

In 21 twilight overs under the lights, Williams tickled a defending Fletcha Middleton’s outside edge and a swishing Ali Orr to give Lancashire a slight hope of forcing an unlikely win.

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