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LV= County Championship: Lancashire held up by weather

Niall O'Brien: Helped to arrest Leicestershire's slide

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Lancashire and Leicestershire were frustrated by the weather as only 40 overs were possible during the third day of their LV= County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford, in which the hosts can achieve promotion and win the Division Two title.

When the rain arrived at 2pm, Leicestershire were 60-3 from 22 overs in reply to the Red Rose county's 453-7 declared in their first innings, which brought them five batting bonus points.

If Lancashire win this match, they will achieve their two main goals for 2013 no matter what Essex do in their match against Kent at Canterbury. Should they draw, they will have to hope Essex fail to secure victory to achieve that goal here.

It is not a matter of if runaway leaders Lancashire claim promotion, just when. Their next match is against Gloucestershire at Bristol on Tuesday.

Lancashire added 109 runs in 18 overs during the morning before the declaration came.

Stand-in captain Paul Horton added six to his overnight score of 150 to confirm his highest score on this ground but he was one of three Red Rose wickets to fall, two of which went to the part-time off-spin of sometime wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley.

Niall O'Brien and Michael Thornely then added an unbroken 46 for the fourth wicket to rescue Leicestershire's reply from 14-3 in the ninth over.

They will both begin day four unbeaten on 23 with their side still 393 runs in arrears.

Lancashire's pursuit of the maximum five batting bonus points was led by Luke Procter's 44 off 53 balls and wicketkeeper Alex Davies' 30 not out off 31, including four fours and a straight six off Eckersley.

After Nathan Buck bowled Horton, Eckersley had Tom Smith (23 off 17) caught at first slip reverse-sweeping and Procter stumped.

Fast bowler Oliver Newby, playing his first match of the season like Davies, then put Leicestershire under the cosh with a wicket in each of his first two overs.

He forced Greg Smith (nought) to chop onto his stumps with his third ball and had Angus Robson (nine) caught at second slip in his second over. Kyle Hogg then had Eckersley caught behind by Davies for four.

A total of 137 overs have fallen to the weather across the first three days of the match.