GARY KEEDY took the final wicket of the game to ensure Lancashire picked up a crucial victory against Yorkshire at Headingley.
Lancashire claimed the win in a Roses epic against Yorkshire at Headingley today as the hosts were bowled out for 260 in their pursuit of 284, the Red Rose clinching the 22 points that close the gap on leaders Durham at the top of the LV= County Championship table.
The Red Rose county won by 23 runs thanks to a hard-working performance, which was underpinned by five wickets for captain Glen Chapple.
Although this was maybe not quite as nail-biting a finish as May’s match at Liverpool, it was not far off as Yorkshire’s strong tail chipped away at their target.
And, when Gary Keedy trapped number eleven and first innings centurion Rich Pyrah lbw in the opening stages of the afternoon session, it signalled Lancashire’s first double over the old enemy since 1989.
Much more significant than that, however, it brought about their seventh four-day win of the season under the skies at sunny Leeds.
“It was an unbelievable game,” said Chapple, who finished with 5-71 from 26 overs to add to two for Keedy and two for Kyle Hogg.
“It took a different path to most games because the tail-enders came up with the goods.
“It was a struggle to bowl at the tail, especially Yorkshire’s. I’ve never seen a team that bats that deep before.”
Yorkshire, resuming on 136-6 and needing another 148 to win, were always second favourites to win this match, but only just.
“On the evidence of the first three days, it was set up for the tail-enders to make hay when the ball got soft, but we knew it was slightly in our favour,” commented Lancashire’s skipper.
Chapple struck in the seventh over of the morning when he had Ryan Sidebottom caught at second slip by Tom Smith, the same way Tim Bresnan had fallen late on day three. That left the score at 164-7 in the 48th over.
Yorkshire, at 136-6 overnight, had started the day reasonably well, with Sidebottom taking two boundaries off Chapple and Keedy within the first seven balls of the final day as the hosts eked out the runs in the face of some penetrative bowling from Chapple in particular.
Yorkshire’s eighth wicket fell when captain Andrew Gale, their final top order batsman, was trapped lbw by Chapple, the 13th man to depart having been on the pads in this match.
The left-hander may have been slightly unfortunate to have been given as the inside edge of the bat looked to play its part.
It, however, was unsurprising to then see ninth-wicket pair Ajmal Shahzad and Rashid add 53 after partnerships of 154 and 80 had been shared by batsmen from either side earlier in the match.
Shahzad hit four fours in 22 off 55 balls, but will have been furious with himself when he fell trying to hook a Hogg short ball. The ball flicked his gloves on the way through to Gareth Cross.
Although Shahzad and Rashid played some eye-catching strokes, their caution was best highlighted with a spell of just two runs scored in 28 balls as Hogg and Sajid Mahmood combined.
Yorkshire went into lunch at 244-9 from 71 overs, needing another 40 to win with Rashid and Rich Pyrah at the crease.
Pyrah scored 117 in the first innings, but was relegated down the order due to the presence of Bresnan and the fact that Sidebottom was employed as a night-watchman late on day three.
Pyrah hit two boundaries after lunch to move to 14, but he was trapped in front stuck on the crease to spark wild celebrations from the visitors, who all piled on to wicket-taker Keedy.
Chapple added: “You get it down to 26 or 27 or whatever it was, and it could have gone either way. We stuck to our task and kept believing.”
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article is copyright of Lancashire CCC and must not be reproduced without permission