Lancashire looking to push for Roses win
Lancashire’s bowlers produced a herculean effort to put Yorkshire on the back foot for most of the third day of this Specsavers County Championship match, bowling the visitors out for 360 and the Red Rose then extending their advantage into a strong lead of 204 runs, closing on 70-0.
Steven Croft’s side have put themselves into a position where they can look for quick runs tomorrow to give themselves enough time to set a declaration that offers an opportunity to push for a first Roses win at Emirates Old Trafford since 2000.
Andrew Gale and Alex Lees resumed this morning with Yorkshire on 136-2 and the pair added 49 runs in nearly 21 overs before Lancashire struck immediately after taking the new ball.
Lees had moved on to 85 when he played across a Kyle Jarvis delivery that swung back in to the left hander’s pads to leave the visitors on 185-3 in the 83rd over.
Jake Lehmann, making his Yorkshire debut, was quickly into his stride with a couple of nicely struck boundaries and his quick scoring finally upped the White Rose scoring rate which had hovered around just above two runs per over.
Gale, who earlier had reached his half century from 162 balls, combined with Lehmann to add 52 runs from 52 balls for the fourth wicket, but having cut Tom Smith for 4 to post the half century partnership, the Yorkshire skipper repeated the shot off the next delivery only to be brilliantly caught by a diving Simon Kerrigan at gully for 83.
Buoyed by that success in the over before lunch, which arrived with Yorkshire on 243-4, the Lancashire attack struck further blows on the resumption with three wickets falling for 11 runs in 5 overs.
Adil Rashid, on 16, flicked a Kerrigan delivery to Haseeb Hameed who took a sharp catch at short leg, Jarvis bowled Lehmann via an inside edge for 46 three balls later before nipping one back to trap Tim Bresnan lbw for 7 to leave Yorkshire on 283-7, still 62 runs away from avoiding the follow-on.
A steady partnership 58 in 17 overs between Andy Hodd and Steve Patterson prevented that particular scenario unfolding, with Hodd finally departing for 43 shortly before tea. The Yorkshire wicketkeeper was brilliantly caught off a leading edge by Liam Livingstone running away from first slip and taking a spectacular diving, one-handed catch to give Kerrigan a second wicket.
After making 20, Patterson had his middle stump uprooted by Buck before Ryan Sidebottom was the last man out for 3, edging Kerrigan to wicketkeeper Steven Croft with the visitors 360 all out. Kerrigan finished with 3-91 and Jarvis, who now has 42 wickets this season, 4-70.
Some positive batting and lovely stroke play by Smith, 35 not out and Hameed, 30 not out during the final 21 overs of the day took Lancashire to 70-0 and they lead by 204 runs.
Simon Kerrigan is confident that there is still enough time on a wearing pitch to push for victory when play resumes tomorrow.
“We saw from our innings where we lost six wickets in that final session on the first day, the wickets can fall quickly,” he said.
“There’s quite a few footholds for their left handers to deal with and the right hand batters will also have a bit of rough from Sidebottom’s follow through.
“The wicket is still spinning. Off the good parts of the wicket the odd one turns, and when I bowled at Hodd and Patterson today it started to turn when I got it on to good lengths, so I’m confident that it will start to go. It’s a case of hitting the right areas and spinning it hard.
“If the sun bakes it could be one of those situations where a couple of sessions could be enough. It doesn’t seem like one of those slab type pitches at Old Trafford that go slower and slower. It seems to be going quite quickly when you get the pace on the ball.
“Hopefully we get the runs in the morning and then have a good go at them on a wearing pitch. We will give it all we’ve got.”
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh