Notts 397 & 114 Lancashire 200 & 238-1: Sutcliffe's century puts Lancashire in sight of victory

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The Independent Online

Iain Sutcliffe led a superb Lancashire fightback against Nottinghamshire with a determined 108 not out but the title favourites still need 74 runs for victory.

Chasing 312 to win on a pitch that claimed 15 wickets on the second day, Sutcliffe put on 107 for the opening wicket with his captain, Mark Chilton, on his way to his first century of the season. The 31-year-old brought up his hundred from 266 balls with 14 fours.

Earlier, the seamer Glen Chapple had recorded season's-best figures of 6 for 35 as Notts were bowled out for 114 in their second innings. Resuming on 94 for 5 and looking to build on a lead of 291, they lost their last five wickets in 12 overs.

Chapple and Dominic Cork did the damage as Chris Read was caught behind off the fifth ball of the day and Mark Ealham went in the next over.

Chapple struck twice in his next over with Graeme Swann caught and bowled and Ryan Sidebottom giving the wicketkeeper Gareth Cross his third catch.

AJ Harris and Charlie Shreck resisted before Harris was run out in comical fashion, with both batsmen in the middle of the pitch.

That left the visitors with 90 overs to complete the win but Sutcliffe and Chilton took a cautious approach. The pair rode their luck, Chilton's most difficult moment coming when he got a bottom edge off Harris and was felled by a painful blow to the groin.

But he recovered to bring up 50 from 116 balls with six fours, only to be dismissed by a bat-pad catch off Graeme Swann to Stephen Fleming at silly point.

The new batsman, Mal Loye, showed more attacking intent as he thrashed seven boundaries to bring up his fifty from 78 balls and finish unbeaten on 74.