Yorkshire’s four-day Roses battle ended in a draw yesterday as bat dominated ball on a pitch that had little misgivings.
Having lost 45 overs due to rain on Saturday, there was little chance a result being manufactured on the final day.
Yorkshire missed their opportunity in the first half an hour when quick wickets were required to enforce the follow-on.
Instead, Lancashire’s tail wagged to the same sound of Yorkshire’s had on Saturday to close their innings 12 runs behind, finishing on 436.
Peter Handscomb gave an exquisite display of his talent in the afternoon with a 76-ball century as the match petered out, Yorkshire finishing on 177-1.
“We have to be that little bit more ruthless and concentrate,” said Gale, whose side host Lancashire in the reverse four-day match at Headingley in nine days.
“We felt like we had the better of the cricket but Lancashire stuck at it well. After being 130-5, fair play. It’s a mini-series. We have them again in a week’s time and there will be more in the wicket then.”
On the lifeless pitch, Gale added: “It’s happened quite a lot when we have gone away from home this year. People seem frightened to prepare bowler-friendly wickets against us.
“We have to find a way of bowling teams out on flat pitches. We have to win our home games, that will be key.”
The draw extended Yorkshire’s unbeaten stranglehold at Old Trafford having last lost a Roses first-class encounter in 2000.
In that time, the two sides have finished in a stalemate eight times, with Yorkshire winning the other three meetings.
Yorkshire would have been hoping to make that four heading into the final day.
With the hosts resuming 35 runs shy of the follow-on mark on 264-6, early wickets were required. But instead, returning bowling pair Jack Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom were frustrated by Lancashire’s adventurous strokemaking.
The seam attack, usually so potent and reliable, seemed to lack a thrust to engineer a position of real strength.
With swing at a premium on an easy-paced pitch, Brooks (1-71) and Sidebottom (2-60) found it tough going after their six-week absence while Tim Bresnan’s short bursts could not create anxiety amongst the home ranks.
Having set the County Championship alight this season, Ben Coad suffered for the first time. The 23-year-old cut a frustrated figure as he lacked the rhythm of previous matches, finishing with figures of 1-70 from 22 overs.
Brooks had spoken of the need for a “bang, bang, bang” of early wickets after play on Sunday. But the memo had not been delivered to the unbeaten Red Rose pair Ryan McLaren and Stephen Parry.
Parry belittled his first-class average of 16.75 and the spin-bowler was on strike when, at 11.36am, four leg byes whistled to the fence at fine leg and effectively ended the match as a contest.
In the process, the runs earned Lancashire their third batting bonus point to give them one more than Yorkshire’s tally of nine.
At that point, Yorkshire still had 10 overs to secure a third bowling reward and Azeem Rafiq snared Parry (39) into an inside edge to the diving Jack Leaning at short leg to offer hope in the 106th over.
As the 110 over mark passed, so did Yorkshire’s ambitions of getting more than nine points out of the match.
McLaren’s chance of a century fell 16 short following a daft reverse sweep against Rafiq, which spooned up for Andrew Hodd.
From 344-8, Lancashire still managed to pile another 88 onto the board as Tom Bailey (40) and Simon Kerrigan took the White Rose to task.
But it was James Anderson who provided the surprise of the day when he opted against resting his injured groin to pad up at 11. The swing bowler was accompanied by a runner as he joined Kerrigan five balls after lunch, following a Tim Bresnan delivery that trapped Bailey on the crease.
Anderson steered his old England team-mate for four through point third ball but it was his partner that caused the strife, with a succession of boundaries.
Kerrigan reached his second career half century before losing his middle stump to a horrible heave off Bresnan to curtail the Lancashire innings.
The slow left arm spinner’s 59 was the fifth score over 30 by a lower order batsman in the match.
Yorkshire were intent to play freely in their second innings, however Adam Lyth’s poor run of form continued with a seventh consecutive score under 50 as he was bowled round his legs by a sharp-turning Kerrigan delivery.
Handscomb was in no mood to allow spin to cause him the same problem and advanced down the pitch to strike his first two balls to the fence.
The Australian hit seven boundaries on his way to a 34-ball half century before continuing his assault after tea with poise and ingenuity.
At the other end, Lees survived a caught and bowled chance off Liam Livingstone as he brought up a half-century in 86 balls.
As the sun shone, all waited for Handscomb to reach three figures before the handshakes were made at 4.50pm.