Derbyshire’s Slater and Hughes see off Lancashire pressure

Derbyshire’s second-wicket pair, Ben Slater and Chesney Hughes, defended stoutly before tea and ensured that Lancashire’s bowlers enjoyed just one success in the afternoon session of the LV= Division Two game at Southport.

Replying to Lancashire’s mammoth 551, the highest score made in County Championship matches on the ground and a total which earned the home side a 181-run first-innings lead, Derbyshire were 28 for one at tea with Slater on 14 not out and Hughes unbeaten on one.

The man dismissed was Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman, who was caught at slip by his opposite number Steven Croft off the bowling of Tom Bailey when he had made seven. However, Derbyshire still need 153 runs to make Lancashire bat again.

Earlier in the session, Lancashire lost their last four wickets in six overs during the first hour of the afternoon. First to go was Ashwell Prince whose innings of 230 was ended when he pulled Matt Critchley to Scott Elstone at straightish midwicket, thus giving the 18-year-old his maiden first class scalp.

Critchley soon had the wickets of Tom Bailey, bowled for nought, and Simon Kerrigan, caught behind for one, to go with that of Prince and the leg spinner finished the innings with figures of three for 50 from 11.1 overs.

By the time those last two wickets had fallen, however, Elstone had taken his first wicket of the innings when he had Arron Lilley caught by Hashim Amla at slip for a career-best 63. The best figures in Lancashire’s innings, however, were returned by Tom Taylor, who took four for 113 from 27 overs.