Yorkshire ignited by Pyrahtechnics
Richard Pyrah and Ryan Sidebottom brought Yorkshire back from the brink of Roses humiliation with a record-breaking partnership on a thrilling day of LV= County Championship action at Headingley Carnegie.
Lancashire’s first innings was wrapped up in a little over half an hour, but Kyle Hogg demolished Yorkshire’s top order with five wickets in the first session to leave the Red Rose in complete control.
The hosts slumped to 45 for eight shortly after lunch in reply to Lancashire’s 328, only for Pyrah and Sidebottom to turn the contest on its head with a scintillating rearguard that called to mind the efforts of Sir Ian Botham and Graham Dilley against Australia on this very ground 30 years ago.
As the morning’s light cloud cover cleared, Pyrah made hay to bring up a 91-ball century within the afternoon session and the all-rounder was ably supported by Sidebottom, who made 52.
The pair’s partnership of 154 was a ninth-wicket record for Yorkshire at Headingley - surpassing the 118 by Schofield Haigh and Wilfred Rhodes against Somerset in 1901 - and Tim Bresnan emerged at number 11 following his release from England duty to help the hosts to 239 all out.
Bresnan, who reportedly arrived at 1:40pm following a brisk jaunt up the M1, then had Lancashire openers Paul Horton and Stephen Moore pouched by Anthony McGrath at second slip – the latter for his second duck of the game - as the visitors lurched to three for two.
Karl Brown played fluently for 27, but Ajmal Shahzad induced a nick behind to wicketkeeper Jonathan Bairstow with the first ball of the day’s final over to leave Lancashire 33 for three in their second innings, a lead of 122.
Sidebottom and Shahzad claimed a wicket apiece in the morning as Lancashire struggled to add to their 304 for seven. The other fell when a mix-up between Hogg and Glen Chapple saw the Lancashire skipper run out.
But in tandem with his miserly captain, Hogg swung the match in Lancashire’s favour with a devastating new-ball spell from the Kirkstall Lane End.
A touch of away movement was enough to find the edge of Joe Root’s tentative push forward, dismissing the youngster caught behind without scoring, and Hogg then claimed the prized scalp of returning South African star Jacques Rudolph as Mark Chilton held on low at gully.
Andrew Gale was rapped on the boot next ball to offer the rangy seamer his first hat-trick chance, something that would come round once again in the 14th over when skilful inswing accounted for Bairstow and Gary Ballance lbw.
Hogg was unable to join former England seamer Ken Higgs in the record books as only the second Lancashire bowler to claim a Roses hat-trick, although supreme figures of 5-29 at lunch acted as significant consolation.
Adil Rashid played across the line to be trapped leg before by Tom Smith as Yorkshire limped to the interval on 40 for six.
Sajid Mahmood replaced Hogg after lunch and had Shahzad caught at the wicket by Gareth Cross and McGrath - whose 15 off 55 balls was starting to look positively stoical - grasped high at slip by Smith.
Yorkshire’s defiant counter-attack began in thrilling fashion with Pyrah bludgeoning a huge six off the first ball of Smith’s next over to bring up his side’s fifty before hitting four fours from the next eight balls he faced.
Pyrah ensured his half-century was bookended with maximums, flaying Chapple over backward square-leg to reach the landmark in 37 balls. A glace past fine-leg and a brutal drive through the covers followed in the same over and the deficit was below 200.
The 100 partnership came from 102 balls, and Yorkshire had avoided the follow-on when Pyrah pulled Hogg into the Western Terrace.
A push to cover off Gary Keedy brought up 50 for Sidebottom, but fellow veteran Chapple made him the fifth lbw victim of the Yorkshire innings shortly afterwards.
A majestic cover drive saw Pyrah bring up his century with an 11th four alongside his three sixes.
Moore put down Bresnan off the bowling of Smith in the first over after tea and the unlikely final-wicket pair had put on 40 by the time Pyrah drove the same bowler uppishly to cover for 117.