Vilas racks up double-hundred in run-fest at Old Trafford

Vilas racks up double-hundred in run-fest at Old Trafford


On EFL Championship finale day and the day when the Premier League champions were held at home by some terrific Terriers, Dane Vilas doggedly dug in for 235* off 363 balls, then when straight out to keep wicket in the searing heat at Old Trafford.

Vilas started the day alongside Keaton Jennings. The former England opener was 91* overnight, desperately chasing his first Lancashire century amid a torrid few weeks for recent England test-match batsmen in County Cricket.

Rory Burns and Nick Gubbins have both notched hundreds in this round of fixtures, giving Jennings two clear rivals for Alistair Cook’s opening partner berth if Ed Smith is to relieve Mark rather-rocky-recently’ Stoneman of it.

Jennings reached his century with a sumptuous shimmy and drive down the ground off Jack Leach, but fell lbw to the Taunton Vettori soon after for 109.

Vilas continued on his merry way though, despite losing new partner, 43-year-old Shiv Chanderpaul, rather swiftly. He was lbw to Craig Overton for six, leaving the Red Rose 283-4.

Vilas cut Dutchman Paul van Meekeren for four to become the fourth centurion of the match. But he did not stop there.

Croft edged Leach to slip for 11 before lunch, but Clark helped Vilas to the interval on 149*. 150 was not a big enough landmark for the South African wicket-keeper though. After lunch he ploughed on and on, Jordan Clark providing useful support until he was bowled by Abell for exactly 50.

Then ensued probably the most dramatic and surprising period of the match so far. In 12 balls, part-timer Tom Abell took more Championship wickets than he did in the whole of last season. He bowled Jordan Clark and Joe Mennie, then had Tom Bailey lbw and James Anderson caught behind to leave him on a hat-trick!

This took him top of the County Championship bowling averages with six wickets at 6.5 at the time, but a few fruitless overs then followed, only slightly denting his average.

Parkinson hung around to frustrate Somerset and allow Vilas to cream his way to just nine shy of his first-class best of 244-achieved at the same venue against Hampshire last summer.

It took a wonderful one-handed low catch from Craig Overton at gully to dismiss Parkinson and end the Lancashire innings on 492 all out, Vilas the standout with 235* but Jennings 109 also worthy of note.

Vilas was dropped twice, the first a simple chance for Lewis Gregory, but should not take away from what a marvellous knock he played, giving Lancashire a surprise 63-run lead.

With Trescothick recovering having broken the fifth metatarsal on his right foot whilst scoring 100 on Friday, it was down to Steve Davies to join Matt Renshaw as the Somerset openers ventured out to the middle at 5.15pm.

Together they saw off the new-ball attack of Bailey and Anderson (a.k.a Phillip Schofield with his bleach blonde hair), followed by spin-twins Livingstone and Parkinson. Safely negotiating the last 18 overs of play to close on 51-0, 12 behind Lancashire’s first innings score.


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