Lancashire's bid for their fourth LV= County Championship win in five matches was held up by rain and some impressive Yorkshire batting on the third day at Liverpool today.
Only 49.5 overs of play were possible following a three and a half hour rain delay through the majority of the afternoon and evening sessions.
White Rose pair Joe Sayers and captain Andrew Gale shared an unbroken third wicket partnership of 83 in 27 overs to advance their second innings to 131-2 from 48 overs at close.
It means that, despite being outplayed for the majority of the contest, they will head into tomorrow’s final day only 57 runs behind with high hopes of securing a draw on a wicket which has gone slow and low.
Sayers will resume on 51 not out from 146 balls and Gale 47 not out from 77.
On the flip side, Lancashire will also fancy their chances of securing the win that had looked a near certainty until the heavens open, and one that would take them to the top of the Division one table.
Left-arm spinner Gary Keedy is set to be the main threat bowling into the rough against five more left-handers in the White Rose line-up, while they also have pacemen Glen Chapple, James Anderson and Farveez Maharoof up their sleeve.
Wicketkeeper Gareth Cross said: “It was frustrating that we lost a session to have a go at them. They played well at the end, but hopefully we can knock them over tomorrow.
“We are just hoping to bowl them out and chase whatever we need. We still have quite a decent lead, and they have quite a long tail. The pitch is still flat, and hard work for the seamers.”
Yorkshire, who started their second innings with a deficit of 188 runs, had slipped to 48-2 before lunch because Chapple dismissed Adam Lyth caught and bowled with one that stopped in the pitch and Maharoof trapped Joe Root lbw.
But Sayers and Gale battled well, the former reaching his second fifty of the match when the players returned to the field following the rain break and the latter looking fluent as he scored 31 of the 46 more runs added.
Sayers had been forced to combat a spell of six successive maidens from Chapple at the start of the Yorkshire innings. And he also survived a fiery spell of short-pitched bowling from Anderson too.
Lancashire’s first innings was earlier wrapped up within the first eleven balls of play. Steve Patterson trapped Luke Procter lbw and bowled Keedy to finish with figures of 4-51 from 24.5 overs.
Lancashire, bowled out for 329, had started the day at 327-8.
As long as the weather holds, a fascinating final day awaits us tomorrow.
Reports: Day 1 I Day 2
Photos (c) Simon Pendrigh
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