LANCASHIRE’S hopes of securing a substantial first innings lead over Worcestershire were halted by the weather on day three of their Specsavers County Championship match at Blackfinch New Road.

But an unbeaten half century from Liam Livingstone strengthened the visitors’ position.

The Division Two leaders had to kick their heels in frustration for nearly two days after bowling out Worcestershire for 98 on the opening day, which saw England’s James Anderson claim four wickets for 24 runs, along with his fellow seamer Graham Onions, who took 4-55.

When the action finally resumed at 2.10pm today, Lancashire recovered from a shaky start to reach 110-3 with Livingstone dominating an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 78 with Haseeb Hameed.

But bad light halted play just 2.2 overs after tea with Livingstone on 53 and Hameed 22.

Play finally got underway at 2.10pm – the first action since the players left the pitch at 2.30pm on the first day after Worcestershire had been dismissed in 38.1 overs

More than 1,100 gallons of water were pumped off the outfield today after more heavy overnight rain.

The home side needed to make early inroads after being bowled out so cheaply and club captain Joe Leach struck in his third over when he trapped Keaton Jennings (6) lbw.

Alex Davies, restored to the side in place of Jake Lehmann, looked in good form and cover drove and cut Charlie Morris for successive boundaries.

Davies, who scored a century for the Second Eleven against Durham last week, picked up two more fours to third man in the next over from Morris.

But the introduction of Wayne Parnell into the attack brought about a double breakthrough with successive balls in his first over.

Davies (24) went for a drive and inside edged a delivery from the left armer onto his back pad and through to keeper Ben Cox.

Then Parnell picked up another scalp when Rob Jones (0) pushed forward and was beaten by a ball which hit his off stump.

The South African seamer, on his return from injury after suffering a hamstring injury against Lancashire last month.

Parnell finished his spell with encouraging figures of 7-1-18-2.

Livingstone survived the hat-trick ball and then began to flourish in partnership with Haseeb Hameed.

He pulled a delivery from debutant Adam Finch for four after he had replaced Leach (7-3-10-1) and then took a shine to the bowling of Ed Barnard

Livingstone cut the England Lions all-rounder for four and then hoisted him over mid wicket for six. The 50 stand between Livingstone and Hameed came up in 92 balls.

Finch was given an official warning by umpire Mark Newell for running on the pitch and was replaced in the attack after a four over spell.

Livingstone completed his fifty shortly after tea with a single off Leach and his 68 ball knock contained eight fours and a six – over mid-wicket off Ed Barnard.

Livingstone’s fifty continues his run of good form, following on from his century in Lancashire’s last game against Leicestershire last week.

After reaching his fifty, the players were once again forced off, as bad light put an end to the day’s play.

Worcestershire are looking to avoid a third straight defeat in the league having gone down to Middlesex and Lancashire in recent weeks.