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    Lancashire's Keaton Jennings assists in setting up a chance for victory against Hampshire in the County Championship
Lancashire's Keaton Jennings assists in setting up a chance for victory against Hampshire in the County Championship
Keaton Jennings scored his 28th first-class century. Source: Shutterstocke

Lancashire's Keaton Jennings assists in setting up a chance for victory against Hampshire in the County Championship

Keaton Jennings scored a superb century, extending Lancashire's lead over Hampshire in the first innings at Utilita Bowl.

In the previous match at the newly renamed ground, five batters - Nick Gubbins, James Vince, Tom Prest, Liam Dawson, and Luke Wells - had scored fifties but failed to convert them into three figures.

Jennings, however, converted his overnight 85 into an impressive 172. Accompanying him was 21-year-old George Bell, who unfortunately ran himself out for 99, missing out on his maiden first-class century.

Lancashire were bowled out for 484, with Liam Dawson taking 4-156, giving them a 117-run lead. Hampshire lost two wickets to Will Williams before the close, reaching 39-2.

Former Test opener Jennings effortlessly reached his 28th first-class century in 234 balls with a cover drive. Lancashire reached 350 before the bonus points ended, and Jennings moved past 150.

The 166-run partnership between Jennings and Bell was finally broken in the 40th over when Dawson dismissed Jennings with a reverse sweep.

Bell reached his half-century in 132 balls and looked set to score a century, despite Dawson dismissing Matthew Hurst caught at first slip and Tom Bailey lbw.

Bell was in the 90s when he attempted a single to reach his first century. A run was never really on offer, which Jack Blatherwick recognised and sent Ian Holland back. However, it was too late for Holland to hit the ball directly from point.

This was the second time that Bell had fallen in the 90s, with a century surely not far away.

Dawson tirelessly bowled for 49 overs and concluded by dismissing Williams, before James Fuller claimed his second wicket of the innings when Blatherwick edged behind.

In 21 overs played during twilight under the lights, Williams managed to get a faint edge off Fletcha Middleton's bat and Ali Orr was caught swishing, giving Lancashire a slim chance of achieving an unexpected victory.

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