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Match Report

Yorkshire have Lancs in a spin

Yorkshire have Lancs in a spin

Yorkshire spin twins Adil Rashid and Azeem Rafiq have put the White Rose firmly in the driving seat at Old Trafford on day 2 of the Roses match

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All Lancashire and Yorkshire cricketers should look forward to playing in a Roses Match. Paul Horton, however, could not be blamed if he greeted the arrival of what is still this most traditional of county matches with even keener anticipation than his team mates.

The Lancashire opener averaged 74.9 against Yorkshire before the current game, and on Thursday afternoon he took his total in Roses matches to 587 before he was lbw for 63 to a slightly fuller length ball from Adil Rashid which held its own.

As is often the case in these Hawkeye-illumined days, the fact that Horton was on the front foot did not save him from the David Millns's raised finger and his departure was the start of a poor evening session for Lancashire in which Glen Chapple's team declined in the face of quality spin bowling from 131 for one to 187 for six at the close. Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid shared all the wickets to fall and Lancashire now need a further 110 runs to avoid the follow on.

"When you're chasing 447 on a good wicket and you get a decent start you really want to kick on and get three figures," said Horton. "The Yorkshire attack is suited to the wicket which is dry and has started to spin a little bit. Scoring quickly off the spinners was hard and they bowled well in tandem."

"We have to get as close to their total as we can and then bowl better in the second innings. To say I was pleased with my contribution is a bit far fetched. If I don't get a hundred, I'm pretty upset. The thing I did wrong was not carry on and get a big score, but then I'm my biggest critic."

In the course of his 133-ball innings Horton displayed all the admirable characteristics that have won him the respect of team-mates, opponents and, occasionally, the selectors, although that latter regard has not been converted into the recognition he craves. His defence was mostly solid, his runs were acquired in his accustomed, unfussy style and he remained unflappable, even when bounced by West Indian fast bowler Tino Best, an event which seemed to be followed by a discussion between the bowler and batsman.

"I think everybody has conversations with Tino Best," observed Horton laconically. "That's the way he plays his cricket. A lot of the time I think there's a language barrier between the harsh West Indian and the Anglo-Australian Scouse twang that I've picked up. It was definitely an interesting conversation out there but these things happen in cricket. I don't mind it because it means I'm in a battle. It's fun and giggles."

Lancashire's total was 131 when Horton was out and the impressive Rashid soon added the wicket of Mark Chilton (7) to a haul which already Stephen Moore. The 22-year-old bowled unchanged from the Brian Staham End for 19 overs and extracted sufficient bounce and turn from the Old Trafford wicket to disconcert all the batsmen.

Joining Rashid in tormenting the Red Rose top order was Azeem Rafiq who took three wickets for six runs in 22 balls late in a dramatic evening session. Included in the off-spinner's haul were the in-form Steven Croft, caught at slip by Rudolph for 16 just two balls after hitting Rafiq for a straight six, and Katich, whose 32 runs occupied 131 minutes of unremitting effort. Nightwatchman Simon Kerrigan was bowled for nought. Batting in the second innings is likely to be a whole lot trickier too.

All this conjecture, inspired by enthralling cricket in the late afternoon sunshine, was in sharp contrast to the first session of the second day at Old Trafford. Light rain delayed the start of the morning's play by twenty minutes and the grey skies were soon matched by cricket whose attritional character would have pleased Harry Makepeace and Emmott Robinson.

After Adam Lyth's outrageous levity in hitting 14 boundaries before lunch on the first day of a Roses Match, Yorkshire's tailenders restored the traditional tempo of the contest on Tuesday morning. Just 63 runs were added in 28 overs as the visitors sought to build a total that might set up their side's first four-day victory over Lancashire in 13 attempts.

Richard Pyrah and Steven Patterson had extended Yorkshire's overnight score to 418 when Pyrah was run out by a direct hit from Steven Croft for 32, but Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Patterson took the total to 442 for nine at lunch.

Yorkshire's innings finally ended four overs after the interval when Patterson's attempted pull off Kyle Hogg only skied the ball to long leg Simon Kerrigan, who pouched the catch after a brief juggle. Nevetheless, Jacques Rudolph's batsmen had already earned themselves five bonus points to Lancashire's two for their performances in the first 110 overs of this match and their total of 447 gave them the initiative in this contest.

Lancashire reply was initally confident and poised. Horton and Stephen Moore shared the county's highest opening partnership in all cricket this season, adding 94 before Moore's attempted drive gave Rashid a return catch.

Unruffled by this depature, Horton continued his bid to build a powerful reply to the visitors' first innings total, this time in the company of Katich, who has become the only man to play just one Championship match for both Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Day 1 Report

Paul Edwards at Old Trafford
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd


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