|County Championship Division Two, Northampton|
|Close, day two: Northants 310 v Lancashire 262-4|
|Northants 4pts, Lancashire 5pts|
Former Australia batsman Simon Katich hit an unbeaten century the day before the start of the Ashes as Lancashire dominated day two against Northants.
The left-hander made 114 as the Red Rose county replied to the home side's 310 all out with 262-4 at the close.
Compatriot Cameron White (90) was last to go for Northants as Kyle Hogg took three wickets to finish with 4-65.
Lancashire's openers fell to Mohammad Azharullah, who also had Ashwell Prince caught for 42, but Katich stood firm.
The 37-year-old's century, which arrived off 156 balls and featured a six and 17 fours, was his 56th in first-class matches, equalling the number of Test caps he won for Australia between 2001 and 2010.
And he was well supported by Luke Procter (62) in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 116, which left them just 48 in arrears and on course to establish a first-innings lead on the third day.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:
"It was a long day in the field for Northamptonshire's players as Simon Katich and Luke Procter took advantage of too many four balls and a good batting pitch.
"Lancashire will look for a decent first innings lead after two hot days, and with cloudy skies are predicted on the third, Northants may find themselves with plenty of hard work to do."
BBC Radio Lancashire's Scott Read:
"Australian Simon Katich has made the very most of conditions which perhaps reminded him of home as his second century of the season for Lancashire put the Red Rose in an excellent position.
"Luke Procter responded well to batting down at six, a change of role for him having opened for most of this season, but they will face a new ball first thing on the third morning at the start of a session which could go a long way to deciding the game."