Jacques Rudolph and Andrew Gale both hit hundreds as they shared a third-wicket partnership of 218 in 60 overs to prevent Lancashire winning their LV County Championship match against Yorkshire at Old Trafford today.
Rudolph hit eleven fours in 127 off 280 balls, and Gale ten fours and two sixes in 121 off 173 to help their side to a second innings total of 354-4 when rain ended proceedings at 4.40pm.
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“It was frustrating because we were always in control of the game, and we played exceptionally well,” said stand-in captain Luke Sutton. “The wicket died a death, we didn’t get the chances, and Rudolph and Gale batted exceptionally well.
“We probably needed a couple of early wickets this morning, and it became a very long day for us. We had high hopes this morning. They batted a lot better in this innings than they did in the first, and it made for a very different picture.”
This was Gale’s second Roses century against Lancashire at Old Trafford in successive seasons, and he reached three figures just after lunch off 141 balls when he slapped Kyle Hogg through the covers for four.
Fellow left-hander Rudolph followed him when he swept Gary Keedy for two over square-leg three overs later, in the 68th over of the innings. The South African had faced 209 balls, and had hit nine boundaries.
While this was Rudolph’s third Championship century of the season, this was Gale’s second. It was also Gale’s second Roses century in successive matches against Lancashire at Old Trafford. The pair’s third-wicket partnership proved to be a Roses record third-wicket partnership for Yorkshire against Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Red Rose bowlers Tom Smith, who finished with career best match figures of 8-108 from 31 overs, and Keedy claimed the two wickets to fall today.
Gale was first to go, trapped lbw by Smith to leave the score at 257-3 in the 75th over of the Yorkshire second innings, and Rudolph was caught at leg-slip by Paul Horton off the left-arm spin of Keedy to leave the score at 299-4 in the penultimate over before tea.
Yorkshire, who began day four at 71-2, had been faced with a first innings deficit of 308 when they began their second innings last night. That was wiped out by Jonny Bairstow and Gerard Brophy in a fifth wicket partnership of 55. Bairstow finished the day unbeaten on 52.
Lancashire take 12 points from this fixture, meaning they are now 49 points behind leaders Durham. Sutton continued: “Durham are going to be very hard to catch. They have stretched the points difference, and they are playing some very good cricket.
“We are one of the sides who will have to play very well, whilst hoping that Durham seriously slip up. We’re in and around there with Somerset and Notts looking at second and third, and those sorts of places.
“We need to play some very good cricket between now and the end of the season.”
[Day 3 Report I Day 2 Report I Day 1 Report]
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
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