Lancashire v Yorkshire: Yorkshire back on top but Roses victory eludes them

LV County Championship

MUCH to everyone's surprise the weather held out for most of the day – and much to Yorkshire's frustration, so did Lancashire.

The forecast heavy rain somehow bypassed Old Trafford, which is normally a magnet for inclement conditions, but Yorkshire were unable to seal a victory that a spirited performance so nearly produced.

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After declaring at lunch to leave Lancashire 305 to win from 68 overs, Yorkshire fought tenaciously to achieve their first County Championship victory against Lancashire since 2002.

But beneath slate-grey skies that for the most part stubbornly refused to weep, accounting for only 11 overs which Yorkshire could nevertheless ill-afford to lose, Lancashire dug in to reach 192-7 when stumps were drawn at 6.25pm.

Yorkshire took 10 points from the game to return to the summit of the table – one point above Nottinghamshire, who have two matches in hand.

Given that they were without Andrew Gale, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad and Joe Sayers it was a creditable effort against a Lancashire side who dominated them at Headingley Carnegie and who might have won there but for bad weather.

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Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of professional cricket, admitted to mixed feelings after the match.

"I was pleased with our performance but, at the same time, disappointed that we couldn't win," he said.

"We pretty much dominated throughout and put in a great effort on the last day, but we couldn't quite finish it off.

"We're back on top of the table but that's a slightly false position with Notts having games in hand.

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"I think we probably need to win three or four of our last seven matches if we're going to win the league."

Among the plus points for Yorkshire at Old Trafford were the batting of Adam Lyth, Jacques Rudolph and Anthony McGrath, the all-round performance of Adil Rashid, the spin bowling of Azeem Rafiq and the plucky pace bowling of Steve Patterson.

But the form of Tino Best was a concern, the West Indian fast bowler struggling in both innings despite an opening spell yesterday of 6-0-32-3.

Best – Yorkshire's stand-in overseas player after Australian Ryan Harris was unable to fulfil his contract due to international commitments – had a below-par game and once again engaged in wholly unnecessary goading of the batsmen.

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After Yorkshire resumed on 111-3 in their second innings, a lead of 200, they lost McGrath to the 15th ball of the morning when he was lbw to left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan.

McGrath, who followed his first innings 61 with a polished 57, looked unhappy with the decision – and not without justification.

Gerard Brophy and Rashid added 52 before the former drove the West Indian Daren Powell to cover, leaving Yorkshire 170-5. Yorkshire lost two further wickets before lunch as they chased quick runs to set up a declaration.

Richard Pyrah was bowled by Kerrigan swinging to leg and Best was stumped as he tried to strike the spinner into the middle of next week.

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Rudolph's declaration seemed just about right, but Yorkshire always had one eye on the elements as they pursued their fourth Championship win of the summer.

The first over of Lancashire's second innings, bowled by Best, produced 10 runs and a wicket.

After Stephen Moore was gifted two leg-side boundaries, Best shocked the batsman with a straight ball that yorked him.

Best's first three overs disappeared for 22 but he picked up a second scalp when Simon Katich followed a short ball outside off-stump and was smartly caught in the slips by Rashid.

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Lancashire slid to 42-3 when Best had Paul Horton lbw to a delivery that appeared to be sliding down leg-side before Mark Chilton and Steven Croft steadied the ship with a stand of 49.

But Patterson, who bowled superbly and without luck, removed Chilton on the stroke of tea when he won a clear lbw verdict. Yorkshire's momentum was interrupted by a shower which kept the players off the field from 4.30pm to 5.05pm, after which Rashid ignited their hopes with two quick wickets.

The leg-spinner had Tom Smith caught behind and Luke Sutton caught at short-leg, later inducing Glen Chapple to pick out mid-on.

Despite great pressure in the closing stages as Rudolph stationed eight men around the bat, Rashid and Rafiq were unable to pull off a famous win as Steven Croft (85 not out) held firm.

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Yorkshire return to Twenty20 action tonight against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road (6.50pm start).

Yorkshire: Lyth, Rudolph (captain), Gibbs, McGrath, Brophy, Bairstow, Rashid, Pyrah, Rafiq, Best, Patterson, Sanderson, Ballance.


Steven Croft

The Lancashire batsman's unbeaten 85, made from 174 balls with 13 fours, thwarted Yorkshire on the final day.

County Championship

Division One

Lancashire v Yorkshire

Old Trafford: Yorkshire (8pts) drew with Lancashire (7).

Yorkshire First Innings

A Lyth c Sutton b Smith 100

J A Rudolph c Smith b D B L Powell 83

A McGrath b D B L Powell 61

J M Bairstow c Katich b Smith 47

G L Brophy lbw b Chapple 35

A U Rashid c Croft b Chapple 13

R M Pyrah run out 32

Rafiq c Sutton b Chapple 4

T L Best c & b Chapple 1

S A Patterson c Kerrigan b Hogg 27

O J Hannon-Dalby not out 11

Extras b7 lb18 nb8 33

Total (127.3 overs) 447

Fall: 1-166 2-220 3-299 4-338 5-350

6-367 7-371 8-373 9-418.

Bowling: Chapple 31 7 75 4; D B L Powell 20 0 88 2; Hogg 21.3 4 78 1; Kerrigan 27 4 101 0; Smith 28 7 80 2.

Lancashire First Innings

P J Horton lbw b A U Rashid 63

S C Moore c & b A U Rashid 40

S M Katich c Lyth b Rafiq 32

M J Chilton c Rudolph b A U Rashid 7

S J Croft c Rudolph b Rafiq 16

T C Smith c & b Best 16

S C Kerrigan b Rafiq 0

L D Sutton not out 47

G Chapple c Patterson b Rafiq 21

K W Hogg c Pyrah b A U Rashid 88

D B L Powell c Lyth b A U Rashid 2

Extras b11 lb11 w2 nb2 26

Total (121.5 overs) 358

Fall: 1-94 2-131 3-143 4-169 5-176

6-182 7-194 8-235 9-356.

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Bowling: Best 15 2 45 1; Patterson 9 0 31 0; Hannon-Dalby 15 4 52 0; Pyrah 8 2 17 0; A U Rashid 38.5 6 90 5; Rafiq 33 5 90 4; Rudolph 3 0 11 0.

Yorkshire Second Innings

A Lyth c Moore b Hogg 29

J A Rudolph c Sutton b D B L Powell 4

J M Bairstow c Smith b Kerrigan 11

G L Brophy c Smith b D B L Powell 23

A U Rashid not out 42

R M Pyrah b Kerrigan 16

T L Best st Sutton b Kerrigan 6

Rafiq not out 13

Extras b4 lb2 nb 14

Total 7 wkts dec (69 overs) 215

Fall: 1-10 2-56 3-97 4-118 5-170 6-193 7-199.

Bowling: Chapple 10 3 24 0; D B L Powell 18 1 45 2; Hogg 11 0 47 1; Smith 5 0 14 0; Kerrigan 24 8 77 4; Croft 1 0 2 0.

Lancashire Second Innings

P J Horton lbw b Best 19

S C Moore b Best 8

S M Katich c A U Rashid b Best 8

M J Chilton lbw b Patterson 23

S J Croft not out 85

T C Smith c Brophy b A U Rashid 11

L D Sutton c Bairstow b A U Rashid 0

G Chapple c Best b A U Rashid 23

K W Hogg not out 4

Extras b4 lb5 9

Total 7 wkts (63.4 overs) 190

Fall: 1-9 2-33 3-42 4-91 5-122 6-122


Bowling: Best 10 0 40 3; Hannon-Dalby 4 1 15 0; Rafiq 20 3 66 0; Patterson 9 4 14 1; A U Rashid 20.4 8 46 3.