Yousuf flourishes in farewell knock

Lv County Championship
Mohammad Yousuf

Mohammad Yousuf closed in on another first-class double hundred © Getty Images

Pakistani batting maestro Mohammad Yousuf ended his brief stint in county cricket by cashing in with an undefeated double century as Lancashire ambled towards a draw with Roses rivals Yorkshire at Headingley Carnegie.

Yesterday's wash-out effectively ruined both side's hopes of adding a second LV County Championship Division One win to their tally and the visitors were content to cruise to stumps on 481 for five in response to the hosts' 395 all out.

Earlier in the day Paul Horton was dismissed for 152 having compiled a record-equalling stand of 258 alongside Yousuf, who closed on 205 not out in his final outing before rejoining his international team-mates.

It was his 28th first-class century, and his fifth double hundred.

Horton made the same total in partnership with Stuart Law on the same ground last season - a record stand for the county in Roses cricket - but was bowled by Adil Rashid before surpassing it.

He started unconvincingly by lazily edging Richard Pyrah, opening in the absence of resting captain Darren Gough, through the slips for a four.

One nudged single later and he had his 150, scored from 265 balls and including 22 boundaries.

Yousuf soon reached his own century, clubbing a tasty full toss from Pyrah through cover to move past three figures.

Then, with the partnership at 258, Horton aimed an almighty leg-side swipe at a shortish Rashid delivery but mis-judged the stroke and lost his middle stump for 152.

Paul Horton

Paul Horton beat the rain to level the partnership record before perishing to Adil Rashid

Francois du Plessis was next in and, having awaited his chance since Mal Loye's dismissal early on Saturday afternoon, promptly fell to Ben Sanderson for a five-ball duck to make it 267 for four.

Tim Bresnan added some bounce and hostility with the second new ball but Yousuf and Steven Croft settled down to a period of consolidation - one confident pull for four by Croft the rare exception.

When Sanderson did find the edge of the latter's bat Joe Sayers grounded the chance at first slip.

Yousuf had spent much of the morning content to block, prod and inch his side towards maximum batting points but started to break out of his shell towards the end of the first session, starting with a carved four over mid-wicket when Rashid underpitched.

Croft was also flourishing, twice driving Pyrah to the ropes as he compiled scored 32 of his first 38 runs in boundaries.

Despite some variable bounce which saw the ball spitting and shooting at irregular intervals during the second session, Croft progressed to fifty having settled into a more leisurely pace.

Pyrah and Sanderson grafted hard for Yorkshire but the attack was evidently short of cutting edge, with Matthew Hoggard, Deon Kruis, Ajmal Shahzad and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan all sidelined.

Croft took advantage, hitting Bresnan for three fours in an over, as the partnership raced past 150, breaking the county's fifth-wicket record against their opponents in the process.

Yousuf was dropped when he skied Rashid on 168 but there was no such luck for Croft (96), who became Rashid's second wicket when just one stroke away from a maiden first-class hundred.

The captain's shook hands with 14.4 overs left - perhaps the only way of finally ending Yousuf's eight-and-a-half hour epic.

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