Lancashire see off obdurate Yorkshire
Lancashire moved to the top of the LV= County Championship after chasing down 121 from the final 15 overs to win a thrilling match against Roses rivals Yorkshire at Aigburth.
Left-arm spinner Gary Keedy’s 14th six-wicket haul in first-class cricket helped to bowl the visitors out for 308 inside 131 overs, thanks to a post-tea spell of three wickets for one run in seven balls.
Paul Horton, Stephen Moore, Steven Croft then all contributed in Lancashire’s chase before Sri Lankan Farveez Maharoof hit 31 not out off 19 balls to wrap up a six-wicket win with four balls to spare.
Keedy claimed 6-133 from 54 overs to finish with match figures of 10-177, the seventh 10-wicket performance of his career and his best haul in a Roses match against his home county.
Yorkshire deserved credit for taking the contest down to the wire after being bowled out for 141 on Wednesday’s first day. Their second-innings effort was battling on a slow surface which offered plenty of assistance for the spinners.
Underpinned by Joe Sayers’ 75, which came from 232 balls and spanned four and three quarter hours, captain Andrew Gale, Adil Rashid and Gary Ballance also notched half-centuries.
Sayers and Gale shared 115 inside 43 overs for the third wicket across 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 out of the eight Yorkshire wickets to fall on day four fell to spin, with part-time off-spinner Croft getting Rashid stumped by Gareth Cross for 52 to spark a collapse of five wickets for 23 runs in 11 overs.
Yorkshire fell from 278 for four in the 106th over to 301 for nine in the 117th before last-wicket pair Steve Patterson and Oliver Hannon-Dalby held out for 14.2 overs.
Keedy picked up the key wickets of Gale for 60, Sayers and Ballance for 57 – his maiden championship fifty - as well as lower-order batsmen Ryan Sidebottom and Moin Ashraf.
James Anderson then had Patterson caught by Croft at gully for two, to set up a thrilling finale.
Horton, Moore and Cross all had cameos before falling to Rashid, while Sidebottom had Croft caught at long-off for 28 off 19 balls, including two sixes.
Maharoof then clattered Sidebottom and Rashid for sixes and also hit a four, as Lancashire reached their target to move above Durham and Warwickshire to the summit of Division One.