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Marcus Hook, at Guildford
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
LV= County Championship Day One: Lancashire 245-3
A tenacious hundred from Paul Horton ensured that Lancashire had the better of the opening exchanges at Guildford in what, for Surrey’s fellow championship strugglers, is their first ever visit to Woodbridge Road. The visitors finished day one on 245-3, with Horton having contributed 110 off 237 balls.
Horton said afterwards: “I was a bit disappointed not to carry my bat, but I would have taken a hundred at the start. We’re looking to battle hard and move up the table, so my job is to see off the new ball and try and score as many runs as I can.
“Surrey have worked their way up to Division One because they are a good side. There’s not many attacks in Division One where you think that’s an easy attack, so it was nice to get in.
“The wicket played well. There isn’t a great deal of pace in it and you get decent value for your shots, so it was good to cash in.”
After losing the toss, Lancashire made relatively untroubled progress to be 112-1 at lunch.
Paul Horton and Stephen Moore shared in an opening stand of 47.
Moore opened his account in the second over with a cover driven four off Jon Lewis before upper cutting Tremlett to the third man boundary.
With Tremlett finding additional lift, Horton took a while to play himself in. Withdrawing his bat in the seventh over, the 29-year-old got a bottom edge that flew past Steven Davies for four.
Moore, head back, then smeared Lewis over first slip. But Horton’s diligence was rewarded with successive leg-side boundaries off Meaker to make it 44-0 in the tenth over.
Murali Kartik was given a couple of overs before Surrey reverted to seam at both ends, which was the cue for Meaker to make the initial breakthrough, with Moore being trapped leg before for 24.
Karl Brown was into his stride quickly, despatching his second and third deliveries, from Meaker, to the rope.
Brown and Horton added 122 in 36 overs. Horton, strong off his legs and straight down the ground, proved an ideal foil for Brown, who latched on to anything wide of his off stump.
Brown was gifted a let-off, on 30, when he was put down at first slip by Gareth Batty off the bowling of Tremlett. But Horton’s ascendancy was underlined when he brought up a 95-ball fifty on the stroke of lunch with a cover driven four off Zander de Bruyn.
After the break the second wicket pair went thirteen overs without finding the boundary before Horton pulled Meaker for four and then steered the 23-year-old fast bowler to the rope at third man.
Brown moved to 49 with a straight driven four off Batty, only to depart, moments later, to a thin edge off Meaker.
Following a 50-minute break for rain, during which tea was taken, Horton cut Kartik to the rope at third man to make it 194-2. But there was only enough time for Lancashire to secure their first batting point before a further hour was lost to a combination of bad light and showers.
When play resumed in bright sunshine, Horton moved to his second championship hundred of the season with a two to fine leg off Kartik. It had taken him 219 balls, with 14 fours.
Horton fell just before the close when Batty pulled off a superb catch, low down to his left off Tremlett, to make it 233-3. Ashwell Prince (32 not out) and Steven Croft (5 not out) safely negotiated the remaining eight overs.