A record-breaking third-wicket stand of 258 in 60 overs by Ashwell Prince and Alviro Petersen restored Lancashire’s fortunes and left the Old Trafford side in a position from which they could contemplate taking a first-innings lead in their LV= Division Two game against Derbyshire at Southport.
Replying to Derbyshire’s 370 all out, Steven Croft’s side were 348 for four at the close after the South African pair had transformed the game with a partnership which established a new first-class record for both the ground and for matches between the sides.
Petersen made 113 off 176 balls, an innings which included 16 fours, while Prince ended the day unbeaten on 156 having faced 229 balls and hit 21 boundaries and one six.
The South African pair had come together with their side poorly placed on 18 for two.
The first Lancashire batsmen to be dismissed was Paul Horton, who edged left-arm seamer Mark Footitt to Chesney Hughes at second slip in the fifth over when he had made only four.
Three overs later Karl Brown nicked Tom Taylor to wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein and departed for six.
Much of the rest of the day belonged to Prince and Petersen, though.
The pair completely dominated the afternoon’s play, adding 141 runs in 32 overs to leave the home side on 210 for three at tea still 160 behind Billy Godleman’s men after a session in which the visitors’ young attack found it very difficult to contain the South African pair.
Prince was 99 not out at the break, having reached his fifty off 64 balls with seven fours and a six; Petersen was slower, getting to his half-century off 82 balls with nine boundaries, and was 85 not out at tea.
Neither batsmen has given a chance on a tough afternoon for rookie Derbyshire skipper Godleman and his team.
Prince reached his hundred off 138 balls in the over after the resumption and Petersen soon followed his compatriot, reaching three figures off 156 balls.
However, seamer Taylor struck back for Derbyshire in the last hour or so, first by having Petersen caught by wicketkeeper Hosein and then by trapping Croft leg before for an innings of 22, which had included two huge sixes off the spinners.
In the first half-hour of the morning’s play Matt Critchley had taken his overnight 13 not out to 41, thus ensuring that the visitors collected a fourth batting bonus point. The Wigan cricketer was eventually caught at third man by Brown off Kyle Jarvis for a 62-ball 41. Jarvis ended the innings with figures of four for 132.