County Championship: Steven Croft shines on rain-affected day

Steven Croft
Steven Croft is captaining Lancashire in the absence of injured skipper Tom Smith
LV= County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford (close, day two)
Lancashire 257-5: Croft 85 not out; Dawson 2-28, Porter 2-51
Essex: Yet to bat
Match scorecard

Steven Croft led by example on a weather-affected second day as his unbeaten 85 helped Lancashire out of trouble against Essex at Old Trafford.

Resuming on 96-4 overnight, captain Croft and Alex Davies put on 79 for the fifth wicket, before the latter was out lbw to Ravi Bopara for 38.

Croft and James Faulkner (37 not out) helped Lancashire to 257-5 at stumps.

Fewer than 45 overs were possible on Tuesday as the morning and afternoon sessions were affected by heavy rain.

But even that was an improvement on day one, where the conditions allowed Essex to bowl just 25.4 overs.

Lancashire director of cricket Ashley Giles:

"I thought there were a couple of soft dismissals on the first day and all I did this morning was reiterate the importance of meeting our targets.

"One of those is to go out and get 400, and to do that someone's got to go out and get a score and we have to put our partnerships together.

"And we did that. I thought 'Crofty' and Alex got stuck in really well and then I thought that James took it on really well. We finished as well as we could hope for considering all the weather that's been around."

Essex head coach Paul Grayson:

"It's been a very frustrating day.

"We bowled well yesterday and picked up four wickets on what looks to be good pitch but Lancashire have batted very well today and it's been hard work for us.

"Hopefully we can come back strong tomorrow and pick up the remaining wickets and then bat well and see what happens."