Tom Smith had arguably his best day in a Lancashire shirt as he scored a maiden LV= County Championship century and took four wickets to put Yorkshire under the cosh at Headingley today.
The all-rounder reached an unbeaten 108 off 163 balls as the Red Rose declared their first innings on 416-9 at lunch on day three.
The 24 year-old, who had started the day on 46, then took three wickets for four runs in 37 balls to reduce the hosts to 55-5 on a good batting pitch in reply.
Adil Rashid later added 65 off 108 balls to frustrate Lancashire either side of tea, but Smith returned to get him lbw and leave the score at 170-7. Yorkshire closed on 199-8 from 63 overs, and trail by 217. They still need another 68 to avoid the follow-on.
Smith, who took 6-46 against Yorkshire at Old Trafford last season, said: “It’s got to be up there alongside my six against them last year. For some reason I always do quite well against Yorkshire.
“We’re in a pretty good position, and hopefully we can take the last two wickets and make them follow-on.”
Smith, who dropped down the order from opening to six and had not got a score past seven in eight previous four-day innings, continued: “I’ve struggled for a bit of confidence with the bat, but I’ve just tried to be positive. I tried to take a bit from my one-day cricket out there.
“I was batting with Crofty when I passed seven. I had a bit of a laugh when I got into double figures, but it was good to kick-on and get a high score.”
There was nothing more than a hint of swing for Lancashire’s bowlers, and Smith took advantage of Yorkshire’s perilous position after Glen Chapple had reduced them to 4-2 in the third over.
Chapple had forced Adam Lyth, the country’s leading run-scorer, to chop on for a two-ball duck in the first over before trapping in-form Anthony McGrath lbw for four.
Smith (4-46 from 15) then got Joe Sayers the same way in his first over before having Andrew Gale caught at second slip by Ashwell Prince and prolific Jacques Rudolph caught behind by Luke Sutton for 30.
Rashid and Jonny Bairstow then shared a sixth wicket partnership of 68 in 19 overs to boost the hosts, but Bairstow needlessly holed out afterwards to undo the good work.
Having hoisted Simon Kerrigan for six over straight mid-wicket the ball before, the wicketkeeper could only find a juggling Smith at long-off as he tried to clear the ropes again. That left the score at 123-6 in the 43rd.
Smith, who got Rashid in the 54th over, had earlier reached three figures off 158 balls with ten fours, and brought up his milestone when he spanked a full toss from part-time off-spinner Sayers over mid-on’s head for four.
He shared a ninth wicket stand of 79 with Kyle Hogg, who made 37. Leg-spinner Rashid finished with four wickets for the hosts, with two of them coming in the morning session.
“Batting wise I haven’t felt great, but I have felt great with my bowling all season,” added Smith.
Note: The fourth day was rained off without a ball bowled, leaving the match drawn.
Day 2 Report (No play due to rain on 1st day)
Graham Hardcastle at Headingley
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd