County Championship Division One - day four (close)

Lancashire 493 v Somerset 429 & 269-8d

JACK Leach dug deep to score a career-best 66 and help Somerset maintain their unbeaten start to the season with a draw against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

In the absence of Marcus Trescothick through injury, Somerset were effectively seven wickets down with a slender lead of 82 early in the afternoon before stubborn work from the tail secured a hard-fought share of the spoils.

Resuming on 51-0 looking to bat out the day, Somerset got off to a poor start by losing a wicket with just the eighth ball of the morning.

It came in frustrating fashion, as Matt Renshaw miscued a Matt Parkinson full toss high to Tom Bailey having not added to his overnight score of 20.

First innings centurion George Bartlett made six before becoming James Anderson's first wicket of the match, trapped in front by an inswinger, but Steve Davies and James Hildreth took Somerset past 100.

By lunch both had departed, however, as Davies (54) was caught at short leg shortly after completing his first half-century of the season and James Hildreth was lbw, both to the bowling of young spinner Matt Parkinson.

Lewis Gregory and Tom Abell both made 13 before departing in quick succession to leave Somerset precariously placed on 145-6 early in the afternoon - which was effectively 145-7 in the absence of the injured Marcus Trescothick.

Somerset's England duo Craig Overton and Jack Leach, better known for their bowling exploits, joined forces with the bat to frustrate Lancashire for the next 17 overs, adding 52 vital runs for the seventh wicket.

In what may be considered a role reversal, Overton was restrained while Leach pushed on - the usually aggressive former made five from 47 balls before he was lbw to Bailey.

Leach continued untroubled, lofting Parkinson for a glorious straight six on his way to a second First Class half-century on the same ground that his first arrived on a little over 12 months ago.

Unlike on that occasion, Somerset continued to dig in as Leach and Groenewald saw the visitors to a 163-run lead by the tea interval, shortly after which the spinner struck a boundary to move to his highest First Class score.

Having helped take Somerset's lead past 200 Leach was eventually bowled by Matt Parkinson for an excellent 66, which came from 131 balls and included 10 fours and a six, but Paul van Meekeren joined Groenewald to lead Somerset to safety.

The visitors ended on 269-8, Groenewald finishing with a fine 36 not out, and Somerset claimed 10 points from the draw.