|LV= County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester (day three)|
|Gloucestershire 252 & 67-3: Hammond 24*, Dent 19; Anderson 1-9|
|Lancashire 556-7 dec : Bohannon 231, Vilas 109; Zafar 4-135|
|Gloucestershire (3 pts) trail Lancashire (6 pts) by 237 runs|
Josh Bohannon amassed Lancashire’s highest ever score against Gloucestershire to put his side on course for victory at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old converted his overnight century into a career-best 231, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 214 with skipper Dane Vilas, who hit 109.
That enabled Vilas to declare at 556-7, with Gloucestershire trailing by 304.
James Anderson then took his first wicket of the summer as the visitors lost their top three to close on 67-3.
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The Red Rose began the day with an advantage of just 37 runs, but Bohannon and Vilas rapidly stretched that further, batting together throughout the morning session.
The Lancashire captain cut Zafar Gohar to the boundary to reach his second successive century and, although the partnership ended when he fell to Josh Shaw, Bohannon and Phil Salt (21) took the lead beyond 200.
The pair eventually departed in the space of five balls, with Bohannon’s marathon stint of more than nine hours at the crease brought to a finish when he swept Graeme van Buuren and was caught behind off a top edge.
However, Danny Lamb maintained Lancashire’s momentum with a pugnacious undefeated knock of 41 that included four fours and two sixes, paving the way for Vilas to halt the innings at tea.
Gloucestershire’s task quickly became harder as Anderson collected his first wicket of the season – the Test veteran sending down a ball that lifted on Marcus Harris and took the edge.
Salt claimed his second dismissal with a sharp diving catch when Chris Dent slashed outside off stump at Saqib Mahmood and Hassan Ali claimed the prize wicket of the in-form James Bracey with a devastating yorker that shattered his middle stump.
Miles Hammond survived a chance to short leg off spinner Matt Parkinson to battle through to the close on 24 not out, but Lancashire remain strong favourites to secure their second successive win.
Lancashire captain Dane Vilas:
“Personally I’ve hit the ground running but then everyone has. Everyone is playing well. Josh Bohannon has been batting incredibly well for the last few seasons.
“Everything is clicking for him and every day he is learning his game and improving in every game he plays. His hunger for runs is brilliant to see. He has taken a big step forward for us. A key position in any team is the number three batsman and he wants to bat there. I’m really proud of him.
“With his technique he can handle anything whether he’s batting at three or four and it’s really good to see. I know he’s worked a lot in the off season trying to tweak some improvements from last season and he really wants to do better which is a huge plus for us and him.”
Gloucestershire’s Zafar Gohar:
“I feel so tired and my arm is so sore. I have never bowled that many overs in one innings but it is what my team required so I had to do it.
“There was nothing in the middle of the wicket so I was trying to get some turn out of the rough. I was just trying to bowl as many dot balls as I could and make it difficult for them to score runs.
“Josh Bohannon batted really well. Even though I tested him a lot he had a lot of patience which was key and he batted beautifully. But we still have a chance to draw. We have enough batting.”