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Lancs day in Roses clash
Lancs day in Roses clash
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Gary Keedy and Farveez Maharoof put Lancashire in the driving seat on the opening day of this LV= County Championship match at Liverpool

The two men - from opposite corners of the globe - revealing how special a Roses contest in the LV= County Championship is to them.

Keedy and Maharoof took four wickets apiece to help Lancashire bowl Yorkshire out for 141 before Paul Horton’s 39 not out ensured a healthy start to the home side’s response with 56-1 from 16 overs at close.

Keedy, who played one game for Yorkshire in 1994, was born in Wakefield before upping sticks and being coaxed across to the other side of the Pennines.

And Maharoof was born in Colombo, the Sri Lankan international only knowing what the ‘War of the Roses’ is about thanks to the knowledge passed onto him from the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and his current national coach, Stuart Law.

“Stuey said it was a big occasion, and he spoke to me about the 250 (at Headingley) he got a few years ago,” said Maharoof, who is one of only four players playing in the match to have not been born in either Lancashire or Yorkshire.

“A few of the Sri Lankan players who have played for Lancashire had told me it is one of the games to look forward to, so this is an historic moment for me.

“This is my first Roses game, and I was looking forward to it. I am pretty happy with the way we started and ended the day.”

Keedy said: “The rivalry had gone slightly a few years ago because of the Kolpak players coming in. Some of the traditions were lost, and people representing the two side weren’t fully tuned into what these matches are all about.

“But now, credit to both clubs, they have both brought through a lot of young players. They have a lot of quality Yorkshiremen coming through, while we have so much talent coming through our side.”

Things were looking good for Lancashire right from the moment Glen Chapple won the toss and elected to bowl first in helpful conditions.

And, while the Lancashire could afford  to leave out Sajid Mahmood, the White Rose side were missing six first teamers due to injury and England Lions duty.

Play started 45 minutes late after early rain, with just four overs of the day’s allotted 96 lost.

And Lancashire worked hard for their wickets early on, despite Chapple trapping Adam Lyth lbw and Maharoof getting Joe Root in identical fashion.

Yorkshire had made their way to 95-2 in the 49th over due to a patient and well crafted third wicket stand of 65 between Joe Sayers and captain Andrew Gale.

But left-arm spinner Keedy took two of three wickets to fall for only eleven runs during the afternoon session to reduce the visitors to 106-5 in the 56th over, and finished with 4-44 from 23.3 overs. All-rounder Maharoof finished with 4-35 from 16 overs.

Lancashire then lost opener Stephen Moore in the fourth over of their first innings, but Horton and Karl Brown shared an unbroken 47 run partnership for the second wicket prior to close.

While Keedy bowled Gale around his legs for 31 and had Gary Ballance caught at silly point by Mark Chilton, it was really Steven Croft who sparked the mini-collapse with a stunning catch off the bowling of James Anderson.

Sayers looked as if he would be recording his fourth boundary when he cut the England bowler into the backward-point region, but a diving Croft managed to cling onto the ball in his left hand.

Left-handed opener Sayers scored 53 off 148 balls, and he ended up being Yorkshire’s top-scorer.

Maharoof forced Simon Guy, who has come out of retirement to play his first Championship since 2007 in order to solve a wicketkeeping crisis, to chop onto his stumps after tea before trapping Steve Patterson lbw.

Sandwiched in between was Keedy’s third scalp, that of Adil Rashid briliantly caught by the bowler diving to his right, and Yorkshire were in trouble at 130-8 in the 69th over.

Maharoof bowled Moin Ashraf and Oliver Hannon-Dalby padded up to Keedy to end the Yorkshire innings.

Chapple and Anderson also returned impressive figures; Chapple with1-9 from eleven overs and Anderson, unlucky to only have the one scalp, with 1-27 from 16 overs.

The visitors were then boosted early in the fifth over of Lancashire’s innings when seam bowler Patterson trapped Moore lbw for one.

Maharoof added: “The pitch was seaming in the morning, but when the sun came out it was a decent track. We should give credit to all our bowlers. We stuck to our plans all day.”

Graham Hardcastle
Photos (c) Simon Pendrigh
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