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LV= County Championship: Lancashire promotion bid held up by rain

Paul Horton: Put on 92 with Louis Reece before rain stopped play

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Lancashire made a commanding start to their LV= County Championship match against Leicestershire at Emirates Old Trafford with the bat during a heavily rain-affected opening day.

The Division Two leaders need a maximum of 18 points to gain promotion from their last three matches, including this, and 23 points to win the league.

They can achieve both this week and reached 92 without loss from 21 overs at lunch, after which there was no play possible.

Play was abandoned at 4pm after the whole of the morning session was played under floodlights.

In-form opening duo Paul Horton, standing in as captain for injured Glen Chapple, and Luis Reece enjoyed themselves after the hosts had been invited to bat and play started at 10.45am. There was a further 15 minute break for rain at 11am before play resumed and was uninterrupted until lunch.

Mixed

It was a mixed performance with the ball from winless Leicester's youthful attack. They induced a number of edges from the pair that went either wide or over the slips but also provided plenty of scoring opportunities.

There was a run of seven boundaries in 12 deliveries for both batsmen in the ninth and tenth overs. Reece hit three off Ollie Freckingham and Horton four off Nathan Buck, including one all run four.

The last of those fours, off the last ball of the tenth, brought up Lancashire's fifty.

While Horton scored his first century of the season in Lancashire's most recent win against Hampshire at Southport, left-handed Reece headed into this match with six fifties in his last six innings of his debut campaign.

Horton and Reece will resume day two on 42 and 31 respectively.

The 18 points Lancashire need to secure promotion is assuming Essex get maximum points in their last three matches, so that tally could well come down as the week progresses depending on what happens in their match against Kent.