Trio of centurions for Lancashire as Northants are put under huge pressure

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Luke Wells, Josh Bohannon and Phil Salt all made centuries as Lancashire made up for lost time and built what might become a match-defining first-innings lead over Northamptonshire on the third day of their LV= Insurance Division One match at Emirates Old Trafford.

Despite losing the morning session to rain, the home side scored 377 runs off 67 overs in two brutal sessions and were 498 for seven at the close, giving them a lead of 156.

Keaton Jennings will hope that his spinners, principally Tom Hartley and Jack Morley, can exploit the footmarks at each end on the final day of this game.

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Lancashire’s determination to score runs as quickly as possible was plain from the start of play.

Jack White took three wickets for Northants (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Jack White took three wickets for Northants (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Jack White took three wickets for Northants (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Bohannon took heavy toll of the leg-spin of Alex Russell and the pair added 75 runs in the first hour of the day.

Jack White and the skipper, Luke Procter, both bowled tightly but the other bowlers wilted under pressure and Northamptonshire were left to rue dropped chances.

When he had made 78, Wells slog-swept Russell to the deep square-leg boundary, where White caught a two-handed effort inches from the rope but overbalanced and had to throw the ball inside the field of play to prevent a six. No one was there to take the relay catch.

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Far more culpably, wicketkeeper Lewis McManus dropped a regulation catch standing back off Wells when the opener was on 85. Yorkshire loanee Dominic Leech was the unfortunate bowler on that occasion and the reprieve only seemed to inspire the batsman, who reached his first century of the season off 171 balls with a leg glance off James Sales.

Having put on 142 in 31 overs with Bohannon, Wells was finally dismissed for 119 when he edged a booming drive off White, and Ricardo Vasconcelos took the catch at first slip. That, however, only brought Salt to the crease, and his arrival sparked an increase in the already very healthy run-rate.

The former Sussex batsman put on 126 in 19 overs with Bohannon, who was eventually dismissed for 128, when Vasconcelos dived from first slip to a take a superb diving catch to his right off White.

However, Salt reached his century off 74 balls with his second straight six off Leech before being caught on the deep square-leg boundary for 105 by Sales, also off White.

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Northamptonshire took three more wickets and gained a second bowling point in the half hour before the close when George Bell was caught on the deep square-leg boundary by Vasconcelos off Zaib for 15, Steven Croft edged his former colleague Procter to McManus for 27 and the captain also had Bailey caught at midwicket by Justin Broad for for six

But by then Lancashire’s lead was over a hundred and the shape of a final day in which the visitors will have to bat to save the game was set.

White, who finished with three for 69 from 23 overs, was clearly the pick of the Northamptonshire attack.

Procter also bowled relatively tightly to take two for 42 but the other bowlers came in for some rough treatment.