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County Championship: Northamptonshire battling to avoid innings defeat by Lancashire

LV= County Championship Division One, County Ground, Northampton (day three)

Northamptonshire 232: Whiteman 79; Hartley 2-47, Balderson 2-49, Williams 2-52 & 211-5: Whiteman 54, Zaib 37*; Williams 2-26, Bailey 2-70

Lancashire 524: Bohannon 175, Balderson 115, Bailey 77; White 4-99

Northamptonshire (2 pts) trail Lancashire (6 pts) by 81 runs

Match scorecard

George Balderson completed his second hundred in successive County Championship matches as Lancashire again enjoyed dominance over Northamptonshire on day three at Wantage Road.

Balderson, who scored his maiden century against Warwickshire in July, this time hit 115 as, backed by big-hitting Tom Bailey, Lancashire piled up 524, their biggest ever score at Wantage Road, to earn a first-innings lead of 292.

The hosts then closed on 211-5, still needing another 81 to make Lancashire bat again, but still battling to avoid an innings defeat.

Having begun the day on 392-7, leading by 160, the visitors lost Tom Hartley who edged Jack White to first slip on 28.

But Balderson, 83 not out overnight, was joined by Tom Bailey in a partnership of 68 before being caught at mid-wicket, top-edging a sweep off Rob Keogh.

With a destructive Bailey blasting four sixes and seven fours in a career-best 77 off just 75 balls, to raise his own personal landmark for the second time this season, Lancashire broke a record that had stood for 88 years.

Sam Whiteman, playing his final match of the season for Northamptonshire before he returns to Australia, then played an assured innings of 54.

It was his second half-century of the match to raise faint hopes that Northamptonshire could save the game.

His 112-ball vigil ultimately ended when he freakishly played on to Will Williams.

After a scratchy start, Saif Zaib (37*) finally found the boundary when he cut and punched through the off-side and he and Lewis McManus then shared an unbroken stand of 46 leading up the close.

With wicketkeeper McManus content to play the anchor role at the other end, facing 65 balls for his unbeaten 17, they saw out the final session to take the game into a fourth day.

Report supplied by ECB Reporters' Network.