County Cricket: Rain stalls Lancashire progress

VERNON Philander claimed three wickets for six runs in eight overs before rain washed out most of the second day of the County Championship match between Somerset and Lancashire at Taunton.

The South Africa seamer helped reduce Lancashire from an overnight 363 for four to 395 for nine as Somerset collected maximum bowling points, having performed poorly on the opening day.

One of Philander’s victims was Steven Croft, who failed to add to his 113. Somerset wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter took three catches, two of them brilliant diving efforts.

But rain was always threatening and the players were forced off at 12.25pm.

No further play was possible and Lancashire had to reflect on losing five wickets for 32 runs in 21 overs.

Gareth Cross was first to go as Kieswetter went full length to his right to hold a low catch off Philander. Only one run had been added.

Soon it was 365 for six as Luke Procter, having registered only a single, fell to an even better catch by the England one-day wicketkeeper. Peter Trego was the successful bowler and it was his 15th victim of the season.

Croft was next to go as an edge off Philander gave Kieswetter a more straightforward catch.

When Saj Mahmood was beaten and bowled middle stump for three, Philander had taken three wickets for four runs in six overs.

The powerful paceman bowled two more without success, but again gave notice that he is likely to prove a handful for England’s batsmen later this summer.

Glen Chapple briefly boosted the Lancashire total with some pleasant shots. But, on 20, he was snapped up at slip by James Hildreth off the bowling of left-arm spinner George Dockrell.

Lancashire were still short of maximum batting points when the rain came, with the day’s play called off at 4.15pm.

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