Lancashire 206-8 v Derbyshire - Day One - Close of Play

Lancashire's Josh Bohannon saved his side's blushes at autumnal Aigburth with a brilliant 94 as the Red Rose made heavy work of reaching 206-8 on the first day of their Bob Willis Trophy clash with Derbyshire.

Bolton-born Bohannon batted for just shy of 300 minutes before departing in the 90s for his second consecutive game in Liverpool, following last season's unbeaten 98, but the 23-year-old could be proud of his efforts considering his dominance of a disappointing scorecard for the hosts.

In truth Bohannon's belligerence was much need by the hosts on a day when runs were hard to come by - partly due to the accuracy of Derbyshire's bowlers and partly due to a slow outfield saturated by overnight rain.

While nothing rides on the match for the Red Rose, the visitors, who lead the North Group by five points from Yorkshire, need to finish top and then be one of the two best placed group winners from the North, Central and South, to advance to five day showpiece, and their chances of a vital victory were boosted when Keaton Jennings was trapped lbw by Sam Connors from the first delivery of the match.

Alex Davies departed soon after without scoring, when he was also adjudged lbw, following an excellent delivery from former Lancastrian Luis Reece, to leave the Red Rose teetering on 2 for 2.

Bohannon was joined in the middle by Rob Jones and the pair staged something of a recovery, compiling 56 for the third wicket in the face of some tight bowling from Reese and Dustin Melton, before Jones departed caught at first slip by Leus du Plooy off Melton for 23 to leave Lancashire 71-3 at lunch.

The visitors were quickly into the groove after the break with the impressive Reece enticing Dane Vilas to edge behind to keeper Harvey Hosein in the first over following the break as the skipper departed for four.

Bohannon was joined at the crease by debutant George Lavelle who batted for just short of an hour for a battling 13 until Melton trapped him front with the score on 108.

With a hugely inexperienced line up there was every reason to expect a collapse, but Bohannon continued to stand firm and he reached a deserved half century off 125 balls when he pulled Melton through midwicket for one of just six boundaries in his painstaking innings.

If scoring had been at a premium in the middle session, the runs practically dried up after tea as Derbyshire continued to pile on the pressure and Bohannon entered the nervous 90s.

Eventually Melton's enthusiasm paid off when Bohannon clipped a ball to Fynn Hudson-Prentice at midwicket for what was a disappointing end to a fine knock, but a fitting reward for the Derbyshire seamer who finished the day with 3-46.

Teenager George Balderson continued his defiance at the other end as he and Danny Lamb dragged the hosts towards 200 until the 19-year-old rather gave away his wicket after slashing a wide ball from Conners to Wayne Madsen at slip for 36 with five overs to go.

Lamb followed quickly for eight when he spooned a catch to du Plooy at point to hand Matt Critchley his first wicket and bring debutant Jack Morley (0no) to the crease as he and Tom Hartley (5no) steered their side to the close.

"I'm obviously very happy but also gutted because it felt like I'd grafted enough to deserve a century but if you'd offered my 94 at the start of the day I'd have taken it," said Bohannon following the close of play.

"It was great to spend time in the middle and I hope I get another chance, but if not I'm happy to take that as my last knock in red ball cricket this season and I take a lot of confidence from it.

"If they bowl in good areas with a straight field it is tough and it really felt like we had to graft. It wasn't a boundary pitch and the outfield was a bit slow so it was tough graft for the lads.

"It was an early start for me and I'd just got a cup of tea, but you've always got to be ready. To be honest I don't mind because I'm not great at waiting to bat.

"It was good to see off the new ball and then bat a bit longer and I've worked a lot over the winter to get used to facing the new ball and change the way I play and yet still stay positive so I take a lot of pride in batting for that length of time."