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County Championship: Lancashire edge day one at Gloucestershire despite Chris Dent ton

Gloucestershire opener Chris Dent
Chris Dent was averaging 62.50 for Gloucestershire in the County Championship this summer before his century against Lancashire
LV= County Championship Division One, Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol (day one):
Gloucestershire 279-7: Dent 109*; Morley 3-79
Lancashire: Yet to bat
Gloucestershire 2pts, Lancashire 2pts

Chris Dent's second County Championship century of the season failed to prevent Lancashire edging an absorbing first day against Gloucestershire at Bristol.

The experienced opener continued a highly impressive season by scoring an unbeaten 109 off 246 balls, with 16 fours, but saw his team slip from 156-2 to close on 279-7.

Left-arm spinner Jack Morley, who celebrated his 21st birthday on the eve of the match, claimed 3-79 from 23 overs on only his second first-class appearance, while there were two wickets each for Tom Bailey and Luke Wood.

Dent's innings took his tally of runs from just eight Championship innings in an injury-hit season to 484 at an average of over 80.

But his team had only themselves to blame for a series of poor shots, having elected to take first use of what looked an excellent batting pitch.

Only 14 overs were possible in a morning session twice interrupted by showers and by lunch the hosts had reached 30-0, with George Scott on 19 and Dent 11.

The rain-breaks meant Lancashire opening bowlers Bailey and Will Williams could extend their spells in the afternoon, and Bailey struck with the first ball of his ninth over when Scott, on 23, edged to Keaton Jennings at second slip.

The opening stand had been worth 38 and soon Dent and Glenn Phillips, who hit Williams straight for six off the back foot, were building on it positively.

Dent struck three fours off the first seven deliveries he received from Wood, who was also pulled for six by Phillips before the overseas signing surrendered his wicket.

Having progressed to 19, with the total 85, the New Zealand international lofted Morley straight down the throat of George Balderson at deep square.

Dent moved to his fifty with a pulled four off Williams, having faced 113 balls and hit 10 fours, while he received good support from fellow left-hander Miles Hammond as they added 62 by tea, which was taken at 147-2.

An evening session of 40 overs began with Hammond, having moved stylishly to 37, carelessly driving a full, wide ball from Bailey straight to Steven Croft at point to leave his side 156-3.

It signalled a turning point.

James Bracey progressed to 15 effortlessly, but then clipped a full ball from Wood off his toes in the air to midwicket where Williams took a fine sharp catch.

Ryan Higgins became the next Gloucestershire player to fall to a poorly executed shot, skying an attempted slog sweep off Morley to slip and departing for 11.

When Oliver Price went lbw to the next ball, hit on the back pad, the home team had slumped to 209-6, with only Dent showing the necessary level of durability.

Tom Price could make only a single before, having been softened up by some quick short balls from Wood, he was yorked by the left-arm seamer from around the wicket to make it 214-7.

By then Dent had moved untroubled to 86 and looked in danger of running out of partners. But he found a more reliable one in Zafar Gohar and moved calmly to a 235-ball ton in the 84th over, shortly after the second new ball had been taken.

Gofar was unbeaten on 31 at stumps, having helped to rescue a sinking ship.

On the previous occasion when Dent reached three figures this summer, he went on to make 207 not out against Surrey at Bristol.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network.

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