Liam Livingstone fires fifty for Lancashire as rain finally stops in Worcestershire

Lancashire’s hopes of securing a substantial first innings lead were halted by the weather on day three of the Specsavers County Championship match at Worcestershire despite an unbeaten half-century from Liam Livingstone.
Lancashire's Liam Livingstone reached 50 off 68 ballsLancashire's Liam Livingstone reached 50 off 68 balls
Lancashire's Liam Livingstone reached 50 off 68 balls

The Division Two leaders had to kick their heels in frustration for nearly two days after bowling out Worcestershire for 98 on day one.When the action finally resumed at Blackfinch New Road at 2.10pm on Wednesday, Lancashire recovered from a shaky start to reach 110-3, with Livingstone dominating an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 78 with Haseeb Hameed.Bad light halted play just 2.2 overs after tea with Livingstone on 53 and Hameed 22.Play finally got under way after a delay of almost 48 hours, and after more than 1,100 gallons of water had been pumped off the outfield following more heavy overnight rain.The home side needed to make early inroads after being bowled out in 38.1 overs and club captain Joe Leach struck in his third over when he trapped Keaton Jennings lbw for sixThe recalled Alex Davies looked in good form and hit Charlie Morris for successive boundaries.Davies, who scored a century for the Second Eleven against Durham last week, picked up two more fours in the next over from Morris.But the introduction of Wayne Parnell brought wickets from successive balls in his first over.Davies went for a drive and inside-edged through to keeper Ben Cox for 24.Then Parnell picked up another scalp, when Rob Jones pushed forward to his first ball and lost his off-stump.Livingstone survived the hat-trick ball and then began to flourish in partnership with Hameed. He pulled a delivery from debutant Adam Finch for four after he had replaced Leach (7-3-10-1) and then took a shine to the bowling of Ed BarnardLivingstone cut the England Lions all-rounder for four and then hoisted him over midwicket for six. The 50 stand between Livingstone and Hameed came up in 92 balls.Finch was given an official warning by umpire Mark Newell for running on the pitch and was replaced in the attack after a four-over spell.Livingstone completed his 50 shortly after tea with a single off Leach and his 68-ball knock contained eight fours and a six – over mid-wicket off Ed Barnard.It means Lancashire begin the final day with a lead of 12 but with another draw the likeliest outcome.

Livingstone said: “I felt like I was hitting the ball well from last week. It was a bit tricky early on but got a bit easier as time went on.

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“It is so frustrating when there is so much rain around. I felt in decent nick. It was about getting in and hopefully setting a foundation to try and get to 200 but the light has stopped us getting another point. Hopefully there is a miracle tomorrow and somehow this rain disappears.

“You can only control what you can control and it’s a shame because we are playing good cricket and getting into positions where we can win games and keep getting done by the rain.

“It is unfortunate but we are playing some great cricket at the moment and long may it continue. Both Jimmy (Anderson) and Graham (Onions) just keep better as they get older and hopefully that carries on.”