Triple century for Jennings on day three


A career best First Class score of 318 from Keaton Jennings and a century from Luke Wells helped set up an intriguing final day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match between Lancashire and Somerset at a sun-drenched Trafalgar Road in Southport.

After Wells moved quickly to three figures from his overnight score of 99, the focus of the day became about Jennings as he made the highest individual First Class score in the 45 games that have been played at this popular out ground, the fourth highest by any Lancashire batter in history plus the highest by any Lancashire batter since 1990.

The Red Rose County eventually closed day three on 624 for nine, a lead of 178.

In the morning, Wells had celebrated reaching his second century of the season as early as the first over of the day but he was soon returning to the pavilion after edging Jack Brooks through to wicketkeeper Steven Davies for 109.

Jennings was joined by Josh Bohannon, who has had a lean time of things recently, but the Bolton-born batter proved to be a superb foil for the former England Test opener as the second wicket pair began constructing a eye-catching partnership.

At lunch Lancashire were 271 for one, but in the middle session the hosts scored 176 runs from 32 overs as they secured their maximum batting points.

Bohannon was nine short of his century when he was eventually bowled by Roelof van der Merwe, but the second wicket partnership of 211, a record in itself at Trafalgar Road, will live long in the memory of those who were there.

Tea saw Lancashire with a one run lead over Somerset’s first innings total of 446.

Steven Croft ran a boundary-less 25 before he was caught by Brooks off van der Merwe, while skipper Dane Vilas came and went for seven after playing on to the same bowler.

It was left to Rob Jones to offer the best support to Jennings as the fifth wicket pair compiled another entertaining partnership worth 113 which ended when Jones was caught well by a tumbling Amar Virdi on the long leg boundary off the part time off spin of Matt Renshaw for 38.

Renshaw would enjoy an unlikely cameo as the day came to a close claiming the wickets of George Balderson for one and Tom Bailey for four either side of van der Merwe bowling Luke Wood for three.

However, this was Jennings’ day and an extraordinary innings ended in the final over after 426 balls and 582 minutes when the opener holed out to Siddle at long off for 318 as van der Merwe finished with five for 174.

At the close of play, Matt Renshaw said: “The way we fought back and took those wickets in the final session makes me feel that’s the sign of a team that’s fighting. To get them nine down tonight after where we were was a good session.

“It’s a day four wicket tomorrow so there’ll be a bit in it but we thought it might break up a bit more than it has. We’ll see how it comes out.

“It’s a real challenge tomorrow for our batting group and it could be one of those days that sets up for the rest of the season if we manage to get a draw. I’m really confident we’ll do it and it’ll be great to build some confidence in the batting group before the Yorkshire game.”

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