Published: 19:04, 06 July 2021
Kent will need to bat out the final day of their County Championship clash at Lancashire to avoid defeat - weather permitting.
A delayed start to day three at Old Trafford worked to Kent's advantage after they were bowled out for just 74 inside one session on day two in their first innings.
But Lancashire strengthened their grip on the game by extending their score to 259-9 at the close, a lead of 185 runs, with all-rounder Luke Wood again taking a liking to the Kent attack.
Wood scored a century in the reverse fixture at Canterbury in April, which Lancashire won by an inning and five runs - and he closed the day in Manchester unbeaten on 63.
Both teams were forced to make changes following the news that England’s entire ODI squad was to be replaced with Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson and Kent’s Zak Crawley both heading south to join up with the new-look team.
No play was possible until deep into the afternoon and it was 3pm when Steven Croft and Rob Jones strode out with Lancashire 108-5 and a slender lead of 34 runs.
Just nine runs had been added when Croft shouldered arms to a lovely nip-backer from Darren Stevens and turned around in shock to see it had clipped his off stump.
Wood came in to join Jones and the seventh wicket pair took the hosts to 155-6 at tea, with a priceless fifty partnership coming up soon after the interval.
Jones was three short of his half-century when the impressive James Logan got one to spin sharply and induce an edge to Stevens at slip, ending a partnership of 69 runs that had taken the lead to 112.
Logan quickly added another when Danny Lamb top-edged to Stevens for two, but the incoming Tom Hartley, who replaced the England-bound Parkinson, was able to give valuable support to Wood who brought up his half-century from 98 balls as Lancashire’s lead tipped over the 150-mark.
Batting with a freedom against the spin of Logan, Jack Leaning and Joe Denly, the ninth wicket pair brought up their fifty partnership with five overs of the day left and had extended Lancashire's lead to 174 when Hartley was caught at second slip by Jordan Cox off Matt Quinn for a useful 24.
As if to emphasise Lancashire’s dominance the final over of the day saw man of the moment James Anderson hit two boundaries off Stevens to finish unbeaten on eight.