Lancashire and Yorkshire had to settle for a Roses Specsavers County Championship draw at Emirates Old Trafford.
The Red Rose side ended Yorkshire’s chances of a second win in four matches when they avoided the follow-on by reaching 299 during the early stages of day four as they advanced from 254 for six overnight.
Ryan McLaren hit 84 and Stephen Parry 39 as they completed a seventh-wicket partnership of 70 to steer their side to safety. Lancashire, who were 39 for three on day three, ended their first innings reply to 448 for eight declared by being bowled out for 432 shortly after lunch, including eight not out for injured Jimmy Anderson.
Australian overseas batsman Peter Handscomb later hit his first Championship century in their second-innings 177 for one from 36 overs. Despite being under pressure through the latter stages of day two and the majority of day three, Lancashire ended up with 10 points to Yorkshire’s nine.
And Steven Croft’s side remain unbeaten in four matches this season, although they have still not beaten Yorkshire in Championship cricket since 2011. They will hope to rectify that statistic in the return clash at Headingley, starting on June 2. Both sides sit out the next round of fixtures.
Croft said: “To come out with a draw and one more point than them is slightly pleasing, but we got ourselves in a good position and unfortunately lost Jimmy, which made it a lot harder. In that sense, we're a little bit disappointed.
"We hope so (encouraging news on Jimmy). I'm no medical profession, but he's walking. I think we'll know more over the next couple of days. All in all, it was a good game played by two good sides. We lost about 50 overs to rain. From there, it was going to be tough to get a result on that wicket.”
This match was expected to be played on a pitch which would deteriorate enough to bring spin bowlers into things during its second half. But that did not end up happening, with only 43 overs bowled on Saturday’s second day.
That said, Yorkshire’s off-spinner Azeem Rafiq picked up the two wickets to fall before lunch. He had Parry caught at short-leg one-handed by Jack Leaning as Lancashire fell to 317 for seven in the 106th over.
They had avoided the follow-on in the 103rd over, the ninth of the morning. Rafiq then had McLaren caught behind reverse sweeping in the 114th as Lancashire fell to 344 for eight. South African overseas all-rounder McLaren had hit 12 fours in 224 balls at the crease, but he fell short of a seventh career century.
Yorkshire continued to be frustrated by ninth-wicket pair Tom Bailey and Simon Kerrigan, who shared 51 unbroken inside eleven overs before lunch to take the score to 395 for eight. Tim Bresnan wrapped up the Lancashire innings shortly after the break when he trapped Bailey lbw for 40 and bowled Kerrigan for 59 off 63 balls, only the spinner’s second first-class fifty.
Shiv Chanderpaul hit his 7⃣5⃣th First Class 💯 yesterday. 🙌— Lancashire CCC 🌹 (@LancsCCC) May 22, 2017
Watch some of his highlights. 👏 pic.twitter.com/cUwPWp6GiK
Yorkshire began their second innings with a lead of 16 and 58 overs left in the day. Out of form Adam Lyth fell for nine in the ninth over, bowled by a big turning delivery from Kerrigan as he shuffled across and lost his leg stump.
Handscomb hit 43 of the first 50 he shared with Alex Lees and reached his second Championship half century of the season off 34 balls, looking particularly dominant through the covers.
Lees offered a sharp return catch to Liam Livingstone on 44 before heaving a juicy full toss from the part-time spinner over long-on for six as he reached his second fifty of the campaign off 86 balls. Handscomb slog-swept Croft for six in the last over of the match to move to 99 and reached three figures off 76 balls with 12 fours included.
The pair shared 153 unbroken inside 28 overs for the second wicket. Lees finished 62 not out.
Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale said: “It was a bit attritional, wasn't it. I'm disappointed we lost the time through rain because it could have been a good game. But I thought we played some good cricket. I was really happy with the way we went.
"We felt we had the better of the cricket, but Lancashire stuck at it well and fought their way back into the game. Fair play to them. But it's a mini series. We've got them again in a week's time on our patch. There will be a bit more in the wicket and it should be a good game of cricket."