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Match Report

Lancs clinch thrilling Roses win

Lancashire secured a last over victory that will go down in Roses folklore at Liverpool, with Gary Keedy and Farveez Maharoof the heroes

The win put the Red Rose top of the LV= County Championship table with a game in hand over their nearest challengers.

Keedy took six wickets for the 14th time in his career to help bowl the visitors out for 308, setting the hosts a tough target of 121 from the last 15 overs of the contest in order to claim the 22 points that went with their fourth win from five matches.

Paul Horton, Stephen Moore and Steven Croft all contributed with the willow, but Sri Lankan Maharoof sparked joyous scenes and even a pitch invasion with 31 not out off 19 balls as Lancashire won with four balls to spare.

The 26 year-old, nicknamed 'The Roof', hit Ryan Sidebottom for a straight four and a six onto the errrr..... Roof of the press tent and also cracked Rashid over long-on to virtually seal the win. His six also knocked the power off in the press tent.

Croft also hit sixes off Sidebottom and Rashid, while Gareth Cross also hit the latter for a maximum.

Rashid had kept Yorkshire’s hopes of securing a draw alive with three of the four wickets to fall, getting Horton, Moore and Cross all caught, while Sidebottom also struck.

Maharoof even changed his bat before hitting his two sixes. He hugged Karl Brown, his batting partner at the end, and then said: “I’ve been involved in a few games like that in my career, but this was the first in England.

“I’ll be honest with you, I thought it would be a big ask for us to get the runs because it’s a big boundary and they’ve got good bowling. But we approached it in the right manner and spirit, and we were positive when we went out to bat.

“I tried to get settled at the crease before freeing myself to clear the boundary, which I managed to do on a couple of occasions. The bat was a Twenty20 bat made by my sponsor, it was a bit thicker and more woody.”

Not only were the boundaries timely, but the Red Rose managed to impressively, and crucially, run well between the wickets, turning ones into twos and twos into threes.

Keedy had earlier taken Roses best figures of 6-133 from 54 overs, also claiming on the seventh ten-wicket match haul of his career.

He took three wickets for one run in seven balls after tea, helping to reduce the visitors from relative safety at 278-4 in their second innings to 301-9.

Yorkshire, having been bowled out for 141 first time around, were boosted by four fifties in their second innings from Joe Sayers, captain Andrew Gale, Gary Ballance and Rashid.

Sayers and Gale shared 115 inside 43 overs for the third wicket, spanning both days three and four, before Ballance and Rashid added 88 in 28 overs for the fifth wicket.

Those two stands had looked to extinguish any realistic hopes of a home victory, but Keedy had other ideas in his 200th first-class match.

Seven of the eight Yorkshire wickets to fall today went to spin, with Croft’s ever improving off-spin accounting for  Rashid, stumped by Cross for 52.

Keedy started his haul by having Gale (60) caught at first slip by James Anderson before claiming the wicket of Sayers for a determined 75 off 232 balls in bizarre fashion. The left-handed opener swept a ball that hit Mark Chilton on the hand at short-leg before looping into the hands of Horton at leg-slip.

Ballance, whose 57 was his maiden Championship half-century, and Rashid then frustrated Lancs further.

But Keedy struck with devastating effect afterwards.

He had Simon Guy caught by Anderson at first slip before bowling Ballance with a delivery that was described as a “wonder ball” by Yorkshire coach Martyn Moxon, the ball pitching outside off and hitting leg stump as Ballance shouldered arms.

He then bowled Sidebottom and trapped Moin Ashraf lbw.

Last wicket pair Steve Patterson and Oliver Hannon-Dalby then batted for 14.2 overs before Croft, diving to his right at second slip, took a terrific catch off the bowling of Anderson to set up the thrilling finale.

“They batted well and stuck it out, they showed real guts,” said Maharoof. “But we kept believing that we could do it.”

Lancashire are now five points clear at the top with a game in hand on their closest rivals Durham and Warwickshire.

Reports: Day 1  I  Day 2  I  Day 3

Graham Hardcastle
Photos (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article is copyright of Lancashire CCC Ltd and must not be reproduced without permission


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