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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Saturday, 12 September 2009 16:52 UK

Loye and Laxman save Lancashire

Lancashire 344 & 314-2 drew with Somerset 557-8 dec (Somerset 12pts, Lancs 8pts)

Somerset v Lancashire

Relegation-haunted Lancashire salvaged a potentially highly important extra four points at Taunton as they battled to a draw against high-riding Somerset.

Starting the day on 87-2, Mal Loye and VVS Laxman batted throughout the day to save the game on 314-2.

Loye hit a season's best 151 not out, while Laxman weighed in with 113, his third Championship ton this summer.

Together, they stretched their unbroken third-wicket stand to 247 before hands were shaken just after tea.

Lancashire have just one game left, when they host already safe Warwickshire at Old Trafford in the final week of the season, starting on 23 September (1030 BST).

But exactly what Lancashire will have to get from that game to ensure their safety will not become clear until next week when Hampshire will have played champions Durham and main relegation rivals Sussex and Yorkshire have met at Hove.

For the moment, the eight points claimed from this game have moved them 22 clear of trouble. And four of them were entirely down to Loye and Laxman.

When the pair came together on Friday evening on 67-2, Lancashire looked in danger of being beaten, still 126 runs short of making the hosts bat again.

And there was one moment of worry when Laxman survived a chance on 40 to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter off Charl Willoughby. But there were no further alarms and the only consolation for Somerset was being able to sneak above Nottinghamshire into second place in the table.

Lancashire coach Peter Moores told BBC Radio Manchester:

"I was trying to remember, as a player or coach, another day when we never lost a wicket.

"This was about saving a game and Mal Loye and VVS Laxman did it brilliantly.

"We were disappointed to miss out on first innings batting points and it was good to come out with a draw.

"It's still tight down there but, at least we'll know the equation when it comes to the last game."

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