Yorkshire go top of the pile

Lv County Championship

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Steven Croft

Steven Croft battled away for 85 in keeping Lancashire afloat as rain played a part in the stalemate at Old Trafford

Yorkshire moved top of the LV= County Championship table despite having to settle for a draw against title rivals Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Stand-in captain Jacques Rudolph set the hosts 305 to win from 68 overs after declaring his second innings on 215 for seven at lunch on an enthralling final day of the Roses match.

And, even though the target was an achievable one for the hosts, it was Yorkshire who made all the running thanks to early three wickets from overseas pace bowler Tino Best and three more from Adil Rashid later in the day.

The West Indian removed Stephen Moore, Simon Katich and Paul Horton to reduce Lancashire to 42 for three in the ninth over of their chase.

It forced fourth-wicket pair Mark Chilton and Steven Croft into a rearguard action in order to help keep the gap between the two sides in the Division One table to eight points.

Although they only added 49 runs together, they did bat for 18 valuable overs to take the sting out of Yorkshire’s charge for enough time.

Lancashire had moved to 106 for four in the 37th over when rain took 10 overs off the day’s tally but Rashid later took two wickets in the 40th over to keep his side in the hunt.

Croft, however, recorded his seventh half-century of the campaign as Lancashire closed on 192 for seven from 63.4 overs.

Croft finished unbeaten on 85 off 174 balls with Kyle Hogg four not out.

Both sides have moved up the table – Lancashire into third – mainly because Nottinghamshire and Somerset have not played this week.

Best bowled Moore with the perfect yorker in the opening over, then had Katich caught at third slip by Rashid and Horton trapped lbw in successive overs to leave the hosts three down and in trouble.

Steven Patterson also trapped Chilton lbw for 23 to leave the score at 91 for four in the 27th over.

Rashid had Tom Smith caught behind by Gerard Brophy and Luke Sutton caught at forward short leg by Jonathan Bairstow to leave the hosts on 124 for six when the rain stopped.

He also had Glen Chapple caught by Best at mid-on in the 52nd with around half an hour of play left.

Croft hit 13 boundaries in his innings and became the first Lancashire batsman to pass 500 championship runs this summer.

Best, who made way at the Stretford End for off-spinner Azeem Rafiq to pair up with Rashid, finished with figures of 3-40 from 10 overs. Leg-spinner Rashid finished with 3-46 from 20.4.

Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan had earlier taken three of the four Yorkshire wickets to fall in the morning session to finish with figures of 4-77 from 24.

He had Anthony McGrath lbw for 57, bowled Rich Pyrah and had Best stumped by Sutton. Rashid finished unbeaten on 42 off 57 balls.