Stalemate in Roses clash
Yorkshire stretched out their first innings to 429 on the final day of the LV= County Championship Roses match at Headingley Carnegie but the game ended in a tame draw as Lancashire reached 196 for two before declaring.
The big consolation for Yorkshire was that they took 11 points from the stalemate, compared to their opponents’ eight, and they still remain in with a shout of avoiding relegation from Division One at the end of the season.
Yorkshire were 110 in front when they resumed the final day on 386 for seven with Adil Rashid on a career-best 136 and Ajmal Shahzad 24, their eighth-wicket stand already being worth 74.
Rashid’s concentration seemed as sharp as ever and after driving Kyle Hogg through extra cover for four he moved to his 150 from 232 balls with 12 fours.
The partnership had just entered three figures when it was broken by Francois du Plessis, who Shahzad attempted to reverse sweep but only succeeded in giving a catch at point to Loye, and David Wainwright was not in long before he came down the pitch to Gary Keedy and was stumped.
Hoggard helped Rashid add a further 26 for the last wicket before Keedy, in his 47th over of the innings, claimed his third victim when he dismissed the former England bowler, leaving Rashid marooned on 157, his second unbeaten century in a row.
Rashid had held the fort for 393 minutes while receiving 239 deliveries and the fact that he struck only a dozen fours was an indication of how disciplined his innings had been.
It was a rugged display which had largely helped Yorkshire to recover from 72 for five and had staved off the strong possibility of defeat.
It was crucial for Yorkshire to pick up early wickets if they were to push for an unlikely win and Tim Bresnan struck in the 12th over when Steven Croft went for a loose pull and brushed a catch to wicketkeeper, Gerard Brophy.
But their increasingly strong position was suddenly undermined when, in his following over, Bresnan had two catches dropped in the space of four balls.
First, Paul Horton got away with a thick edge through the hands of Joe Sayers at second slip and Loye’s pull to mid-wicket was put down by Jonny Bairstow diving forward.
These escapes meant Lancashire could go into lunch much more comfortably on 45 for one in 18 overs and even when Horton fell to another catch by Brophy, this time off Rashid, Yorkshire were unable exert any real pressure.
With the pitch having flattened out and giving no real help to seam or spin, Loye and Laxman were able to settle in together and Loye showed attacking intent by straight driving Rashid into the sightscreen at the Kirkstall Lane end.
Loye celebrated the arrival of his 50 from 117 balls with a second six, this time his pull at Wainwright sailing into the West Stand, and his boundary soon after tea pushed Lancashire into the lead.
The century stand was posted off 158 balls and with the game effectively over as a contest Laxman reached his half-century from 83 deliveries with five fours.
Loye had cantered to 84 with eight fours and two sixes and Laxman was on 65 with seven fours when the sides decided to call a halt at the earliest opportunity with their lead now 43 and the stand worth 131.