Kyle Hogg was Lancashire's star performer during the second day against Yorkshire at Headingley, claiming five wickets.
But, despite reducing the White Rose county to 45-8 in the first innings as they replied to Lancashire’s 328, the Red Rose still cannot say that they are bang on track for a seventh four-day win of the season due to the batting heroics of Rich Pyrah and Ryan Sidebottom.
After losing their last three first innings wickets for the addition of another 24 runs during the day’s first hour, Lancashire looked to have gained a stranglehold on this LV= County Championship clash thanks to Hogg’s stunning burst.
He took the first five Yorkshire wickets at a personal cost of 21 runs before Sajid Mahmood twice and Tom Smith struck to leave eight wickets down on the board early in the afternoon session.
It was an incredible passage of play, although it would transpire that there was still a hefty surprise just around the corner.
Pyrah and Sidebottom counter-attacked brilliantly during the majority of the day’s middle session, sharing 154 in 30 overs to halt the Lancashire juggernaut.
Their stand was Yorkshire’s highest for the ninth wicket against Lancashire in Championship cricket on home soil, and it helped them post a respectable 239.
It was also the highest ninth-wicket stand in Championship cricket by any side on this ground.
“To bowl them out for 230-odd, we’d have taken that,” said Hogg, who later saw Lancashire close on 33-3 from 15.1 overs of their second innings, an overall lead of 122. “It was just disappointing after having them in trouble.
“Sometimes though, you’ve just got to say ‘well played’. You’ve got to give credit to Sidebottom and Pyrah.”
When Lancashire began their second innings with a lead of 89, Yorkshire’s confidence was obvious because Tim Bresnan struck twice to reduce the score to 3-2. He had Paul Horton and Stephen Moore caught at second slip by Anthony McGrath.
Karl Brown, particularly strong on the drive through the covers, then seemed to have weathered the storm.
But he edged Ajmal Shahzad behind for 27 with the first ball of the day’s last over, leaving Lancashire a tad flat at close.
Mark Chilton and Steven Croft will resume in the morning.
“That was disappointing because we’d have loved to have gone in two down, but these things happen,” added Hogg. “We’ll still come out fighting in the morning.
“As it showed in our innings, it becomes a lot easier to bat when you get through the new ball. With the new ball, you feel like you’re going to get a wicket every over. With the old ball, I don’t think we looked like getting Sidebottom and Pyrah out.”
All-rounder Pyrah recorded a maiden Championship hundred off 91 balls, including eleven fours and three pulled sixes off Smith, Hogg and Glen Chapple.
Sidebottom brought up only the third four-day half-century of his career off 101 balls, but was trapped lbw by Chapple for 52 to leave the score at 200-9 just before tea.
When Pyrah slapped Smith to Chilton at cover in the 69th over of the innings, he had scored 117 off 126 balls.
Hogg had Joe Root caught behind, Jacques Rudolph caught by Chilton slashing to gully for 12 and removed Andrew Gale, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance all lbw.
The in-form seamer took two wickets in two balls twice, getting Rudolph and then Gale, and Bairstow and then Ballance, as he blew Yorkshire’s top order away.
“I’m just trying to keep things simple and do the basics well. Everything else should look after itself,” commented Hogg, who currently has 29 wickets at 14.24 midway through his fifth Championship match of the campaign.
Bresnan, who added a valuable 19 from number eleven, was substituted back into the contest in place of Iain Wardlaw after being left out of the England side to face India at Lord’s.
Having driven up the M1, he arrived at the ground at approximately 2pm with Pyrah and Sidebottom going strong.
Earlier, Mahmood, Chapple and Hogg were the wickets to fall to complete Lancashire’s first innings. The visitors only added another 24 runs to their overnight total as Sidebottom and Shahzad struck.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
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