HAVING been dumped out of the T20 Blast in dispiriting fashion the previous night, Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford was always going to test Yorkshire’s character as much as their class.
Defeat to Nottinghamshire by six wickets at Leeds – after the visitors knocked off 201 – was a body blow to a club that would have regarded qualifying for the knockout stages as a minimum target, particularly after signing the world’s No 1-ranked T20 batsman in Aaron Finch.
But with the pain of that result fresh in their minds, Yorkshire dug deep to get their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign off to a winning start, beating Lancashire by 47 runs in a day/night fixture.
Although there was no Finch to assist them this time (the Australian has left the club to attend a national training camp), they did have New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who top-scored with 70 as Yorkshire made 324-7 after winning the toss.
Alex Lees contributed 66 and fellow opener Adam Lyth 46, while Andrew Gale hit 38 and Tim Bresnan 32.
It was Yorkshire’s eighth-highest total in List A cricket and their highest against the Red Rose county, beating the 292-4 at Headingley in the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy in 2006.
It was the fourth-highest total by any club against Lancashire in List A and the highest Lancashire have conceded against any club at Old Trafford.
Although no-one made a really sizeable score, there was consistency throughout the Yorkshire line-up.
Needing 325 at exactly 6.50 runs per over, Lancashire looked out of it at 57-3 in the 15th over.
But a fourth-wicket stand of 103 in 17 overs between Karl Brown and Paul Horton breathed life into the chase, and Yorkshire breathed a sigh of relief when Horton was unluckily run-out when Rich Pyrah, the bowler, deflected a drive from Brown into the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
Brown went on to a career-best 129 from 99 balls with nine fours and four sixes, and his dismissal – bowled by Jack Brooks as Lancashire fell to 250-6 in the 43rd over – killed the chase.
Until then, Yorkshire would have feared a repeat of the Nottinghamshire match.
Before a crowd of around 5,000, Yorkshire made a flying start to this game.
Lyth and Lees continued their fine form, taking advantage of a true pitch and a fast outfield as they drove crisply and confidently through the inner ring.
Lees set the tone by off-driving Kabir Ali for four, Lyth then cutting the former England bowler to the boundary and punching him sweetly to the mid-on rope.
Kabir’s first four overs went for 30 as Yorkshire quickly seized control.
Lyth was first to fall with the total on 69 to the penultimate delivery of the 10-over powerplay.
The left-hander hit a rank long-hop from Kyle Jarvis down the throat of Usman Khawaja at deep mid-wicket and walked off visibly disgusted with himself.
Lees maintained the pace by thumping Croft down the ground with disdain and off-driving Wayne White with exquisite timing.
The left-hander went to his half-century from 54 balls with six fours, and with Williamson playing well after a slow start, Yorkshire had an imposing platform.
Lees looked set for a maiden List A hundred but was cut off in his prime when he lofted left-arm spinner Stephen Parry to Khawaja at long-on, having faced 73 balls and hit seven fours.
It ended a stand of 82 in 16 overs with Williamson, who reached his own 50 from 66 balls before shovelling a full toss from Kabir to Croft at mid-on.
Gale was caught by Croft at deep mid-off off Parry, Jonny Bairstow following when he top-edged Clark to Croft at mid-on.
Bresnan thumped five fours in an 18-ball innings that ended when he struck a low full toss from Kabir to mid-off.
Jack Leaning was Kabir’s third victim, picking out deep mid-wicket. Yorkshire hammered 95 off the last 10 overs, including 52 off the last five.
A terrific catch by Lyth over his shoulder running back to deep mid-wicket kick-started Yorkshire’s bowling effort when Khawaja top-edged Bresnan.
Lancashire fell to 51-2 in the 12th when Ashwell Prince chipped Lyth to Bresnan at mid-on and then to 57-3 in the 15th when Bresnan caught Alex Davies at deep mid-on off Steve Patterson.
Brown, who had a life on 27 when Lees dropped a difficult low chance at deep extra-cover off Brooks, advanced to 50 from 38 balls with five fours and a six.
He needed a further 44 balls to reach his century, Lancashire then slipping to 213-5 when Steven Croft was run out going for two to Brooks at long-leg, ending a stand of 53 with Brown.
After Brown’s departure, Lancashire’s lower-order wilted.
Rashid had White caught at cover by Williamson and Clark held at long-on by Lyth after a long delay while the television umpire decided whether the ball had carried.
Bresnan had Kabir caught behind before Jarvis was run-out, Lancashire falling for 277 to conclude an entertaining game.