Twin centuries rescue Yorkshire
Jacques Rudolph and Andrew Gale both hit centuries to guide Yorkshire to a crucial LV= County Championship draw against Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Faced with the potential of a tough last day in the Division One fixture, Rudolph and Gale batted until mid-afternoon and shared a match-saving third-wicket partnership of 218 in 60 overs.
Yorkshire are still rooted firmly in a relegation battle but at least they managed to take five points from this fixture when, at the start of day four, it was only looking like one.
Yorkshire were 354 for four in their second innings when rain forced an early end to proceedings.
Rudolph hit 11 fours in an innings of 127 off 280 balls and Gale struck 10 fours and two sixes in 121 off 173, to help their side to a second-innings score of 350 for four declared when the players shook hands at 4.50pm.
Gale’s century was his second against Lancashire at Old Trafford in successive seasons, and he reached three figures just after lunch with a cover-driven four off Kyle Hogg in the 65th over.
He had faced 141 balls and had hit 10 fours and one six over long-on off the left-arm spin of Gary Keedy.
Fellow left-hander Rudolph followed him just three overs later when he swept Keedy for two over square leg. The South African had faced 209 balls and had hit nine boundaries.
And it would have been especially sweet for Gale after he was out for 99 against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough last week, in another match-saving effort.
Rudolph offered a sharp chance to Mal Loye at short leg off the bowling of Keedy while on 107, but by that time the Yorkshire pair had already broken their county’s record for a third-wicket partnership at Old Trafford.
Just an over later though, in the 75th of the innings, Tom Smith trapped Gale lbw to leave the visitors at 257 for three. It was the Lancashire bowler’s eighth wicket of the match.
Rudolph and Jonny Bairstow shared 42 for the fourth wicket before Rudolph’s effort came to an end when he was caught at leg slip by Paul Horton off the bowling of Keedy. Yorkshire were 299 for four in the 92nd over of their innings.
Bairstow (52) then brought up his fourth unbeaten half-century in six Championship matches as he shared an unbroken 54 for the fifth wicket with Gerard Brophy.
Lancashire, frustrated by their final-day performance, take 12 points from the fixture.