Lancashire secure Roses double
Title-chasing Lancashire held off a stirring fightback from Yorkshire to record a valuable 23-run victory on the final day of a remarkable Roses match at Headingley Carnegie.
A game of numerous twists and turns was brought to an end at 1:56pm, when Gary Keedy trapped first-innings centurion Richard Pyrah lbw for 14 to dismiss Yorkshire, who had resumed this morning on 136 for six, for 260 in their second innings.
All-rounder Adil Rashid was left stranded on 48 not out, having shared 53 with Ajmal Shahzad and 30 with Pyrah to take the game down to the wire.
Lancashire’s victory – their seventh in 10 games this summer – lifts them to 168 points, just one less than leaders Durham had at the start of their ongoing match with Somerset at Taunton.
Yorkshire, by contrast, remain in trouble near the foot of the table, yet they deserve immense credit for the part they played in an encounter that is sure to live long in the memory.
Reduced to 45 for eight on day two in response to Lancashire’s first-innings 328, the White Rose launched a stunning counter-attack through Pyrah, who clubbed 117 from 126 balls, and Ryan Sidebottom.
After posting 239, Yorkshire then saw their rivals slump to 87 for eight yesterday before further tail-end resistance from Sajid Mahmood and Kyle Hogg set up a challenging run-chase.
When home skipper Andrew Gale fell lbw to opposite number Glen Chapple for 47 this morning, with 107 still required, Lancashire appeared strong favourites, but they were once again made to work hard for their final two wickets.
Chapple, born a short distance from this ground in Skipton, picked up two wickets today to finish with 5-71, only his second five-wicket haul in a Roses match and his first in 10 years.
Lancashire’s captain said: “It was an unbelievable game and we walk away from here absolutely delighted.
“The pitch tended to get flatter with the old ball, more easy-paced, and it was a real struggle to bowl at the tailenders, particularly Yorkshire’s – I’ve never seen a team bat that deep before.”
Lancashire have now emerged victorious in two dramatic Roses clashes this year, having completed a swift run-chase at Aigburth in May.
“Two amazing games of cricket, that’s just what has happened,” continued Chapple. “I’ll remember them for a long time.
“When you get down to 27, 25, whatever it was, it can go either way. We just stuck at it, kept believing and came away with the points.”
Yorkshire made a positive start this morning, with Gale, who used his feet superbly to negate the threat of Keedy, and Sidebottom adding 28 in six overs.
The burgeoning seventh-wicket partnership was broken when Chapple had Sidebottom, driving loosely, caught by Tom Smith at second slip for 16 with the score on 164.
Four overs later, the evergreen seamer landed an even more significant blow as Gale played back to a ball that appeared to straighten and was trapped leg before.
Yorkshire refused to buckle and an increasingly assured Rashid drove both Chapple and Keedy for fours to reduce the deficit to two figures.
Keedy thought he had removed Shahzad soon after when a delivery looped to Paul Horton at slip, only for the umpire to rule there had been no bat involved.
Kyle Hogg and Sajid Mahmood were introduced in successive overs but the latter came in for punishment at the hands of Rashid, who drove elegantly down the ground before picking up four more with a superb cut shot.
When Shahzad picked up fours through mid-on and cover off Hogg – the latter all-run – Yorkshire needed just 64 for victory and Mahmood was soon taken for another boundary as Rashid guided a back-of-a-length delivery down to third man.
Just two runs came from the following four overs, but Shahzad broke the shackles – and brought up the fifty partnership – with a square cut for four off Hogg.
The England paceman departed three balls later, however, when he gloved an attempted hook into the hands of wicketkeeper Gareth Cross.
Pyrah arrived at the crease with 54 still needed, and that figure was down to 40 by lunch as Rashid continued to prosper with boundaries off Hogg and Mahmood.
A further 16 runs came after the interval, the majority from the blade of Pyrah, who appeared in the mood to repeat his earlier heroics.
It was to be Keedy, another member of the Lancashire attack to hail from Yorkshire, who had the final say, however, as he struck Pyrah - a man later described by Chapple as “the best number 11 in the country" - on the pads to spark jubilant celebrations among the visiting team.