Livingstone parks England talk to lead Lancashire charge

Livingstone parks England talk to lead Lancashire charge

Lancashire 109 & 423-7 (Livingstone 168, Davies 130; Gregory 3-65) lead Somerset 278 by 254 runs

Liam Livingstone has every chance of playing for England this summer, at least in Limited Overs cricket. With the Royal London One-Day Cup starting this coming week, expect him to continue to stake his claim in that competition and press his case for selection for the Champions Trophy in June.

A classic knock on`El Clasico’ Sunday from 23-year-old Livingstone might have taken the game away from Somerset on Day Three at Old Trafford.

However, if the forecast rain is not too damaging, all four results are still possible on Day Four in Manchester.

Captain Livingstone was not getting carried away on behalf of himself or the team after today’s performance though, simply saying; “We’ll try and push on tomorrow morning and see what happens tomorrow afternoon.”

And on his own England prospects: “It’s all about Lancashire at the moment for me, I am just trying to work hard here first.”

Lancashire lead by 254, with three second innings wickets intact, thanks to Livingstone scoring exactly 100 more than he did in his first innings. Livingstone’s majestic career-best was ended when he was caught at mid-off by Elgar off Leach, after he had scored 19 fours and two sixes.

Livingstone though did not plough a lone furrow in this second innings as he did in the first. This time he had superb, stoic support in the form of Alex Davies.

The two of them put on 245 for the third wicket, wicketkeeper Davies scoring 130 while his captain scored 168. This from a 22-year-old who is only regularly opening for Lancashire for the first time this year, and Livingstone standing in as captain due to Steven Croft’s thumb injury.

These two have been playing cricket together since they were 11 years old, and that was clear for all to see today.

One particularly bizarre statistic saw Lancashire’s Clark, Livingstone, McLaren and Davies all with a top score of exactly 140 before Livingstone moved past that mark today. Livingstone had scored his 140 for the England Lions in Sri Lanka this winter.

This was particularly crucial as England’s former hottest prospect, Haseeb Hameed, has had two failings, 0 and 7 in this match. With Keaton Jennings scoring more runs for Durham, Hameed could be dropping down the Test team pecking order on current form.

Young Englishmen made the difference for both sides – Somerset’s trio of young English bowlers Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, and Jack Leach took all of today’s wickets, the former with three wickets apiece and the latter pair with two wickets each.

Somerset’s lengthy spell in the field was not helped by Dean Elgar suffering from a finger injury (and perhaps fatigue from his first innings 100) and Jamie Overton missing the entire game with a hamstring injury. It was down to 51-year-old Somerset coach Matt Maynard to help Roelof van der Merwe with the substitute fielding and drinks-carrying jobs!

While the White Rose skipper Gary Ballance has scored one century and one fifty at Hampshire this week, the Red Rose skipper Livingstone scored an even bigger and more spectacular hundred and a half-century in his two innings v Somerset. This backing up a List A 108* at Taunton last summer.

With most of Manchester’s eyes on a certain FA Cup semi-final at Wembley there was still a decent Old Trafford crowd revelling in the Sunday sun, particularly appreciative of Livingstone’s knock.

After wickets tumbled so quickly on Day One, a surprisingly intriguing match has been set up at Old Trafford. One well worth keeping an eye on, weather permitting, tomorrow.


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