Captain Glen Chapple will have an hour to save Lancashire from relegation when play starts at Old Trafford on day three against Middlesex.
The club legend, visibly struggling with an injury to his left hand, yesterday battled to 21*, alongside Luke Procter 37*, to leave the Red Rose on 259-6 overnight.
Lancashire must add 41 runs without losing three wickets in the first 14 overs off play to have any chance of evading relegation.
Veteran batsman Ashwell Prince said that Lancashire are focusing on getting their tactics right to stay in the contest.
“We’re just playing on what we need to do to win the game and stay up in the division,” said the South African who could be playing his final game for the county.
“Our mood is good. We are confident that we can bat well for the next 14 overs and build that lead.”
The Red Rose must win and claim at least three more bonus points than their opponents Middlesex.
Lancashire have currently earned five bonus points to Middlesex’s three meaning that a score of 300-8 or better will be enough to keep their chances of survival alive.
Lancashire had looked dead and buried when England international Jos Buttler fell LBW to leave the side 160-5 and well adrift of safety.
However Steven Croft produced a typically resolute 60 before, incorrectly, being given out, caught down the legside, to leave the side 221-6.
Lancashire would have had the opportunity to declare if they had reached 250-5 but Prince believes that needing to reach 300 will give Lancashire a better chance of winning the game.
“There was a possibility of pulling out at 250-5 but that would only have given us a 30-odd lead so if we get to 300 or beyond it gives us a better chance of winning the game,” said Prince.
“On day two the cracks were playing a role with the harder ball. It didn’t swing as much as we anticipated so if the sun is out again, the cracks may open up a little bit so the bigger the lead the better for us.”
If Chapple can guide his side past 300 then Lancashire, who were promoted last season, will have every chance of avoiding an immediate return to division two.
Image courtesy of Lords Cricket Ground via YouTube, with thanks.