Lancashire v Yorkshire, Old Trafford, 3rd day September 2, 2014

Lyth leads Yorkshire to Roses record

Paul Edwards at Old Trafford

Lancashire 278 and 144 for 2 (Khawaja 69*) trail Yorkshire 610 for 6 dec. (Lyth 251, Rashid 159*) by 188 runs

The third day's play in the Roses match was not designed to silence the Old Trafford malcontents. With Yorkshire registering the highest total in Roses history and Adam Lyth failing by one run to equal Yorkshire's highest score in Roses history, how could it?

The indefatigable Lyth also helped Adil Rashid set a new Yorkshire record for the sixth-wicket, the pair's 296-run stand beating the mark set by Maurice Leyland and Emmott Robinson at Swansea in 1926. And it seemed that when a statistic involving the legendary Robinson was eclipsed, a torch was passed from a distant generation to the current vintage.

Lyth and Rashid, of course, may hardly have heard of Leyland or Robinson, but the applause of the many visiting spectators at Old Trafford when the new record was established revealed a pleasing awareness of their county's history. Such knowledge was not generally shared: Lancashire's public address announcer marked the occasion by announcing that one car was blocking another.

For his part, Lyth very deliberately acknowledged the standing ovation he received from all parts of Old Trafford as he made his way back to the changing room after his innings of 251 that once again demanded England debate.

For all their internecine squabbles, there remains a degree of shared purpose between Yorkshire's players and supporters, a sense of "uz", if you wish, which is partly explored in very much more general terms in the two sonnets Them and [Uz] written by the Leeds poet Tony Harrison.

Perhaps it is that sense of identification with the players that Lancashire fans believe is endangered by the redevelopment of Old Trafford. More prosaically, of course, they just want the team to play better cricket and maybe they detect strong links between events on and off the field.

At least late resistance from Paul Horton, Usman Khawaja and Ashwell Prince gave Lancashire supporters some hope that they may rescue a precious draw on the final afternoon of a match which has been dominated by the White Rose.

But unease remained. When Old Trafford was redeveloped a couple of seasons ago it was decided that the players would no longer use the pavilion but would instead change in a plush new facility at what is now the Statham End of the ground.

There were sound reasons behind the decision but the fact that cricketers no longer need the building where members sit may almost be seen to symbolise the perceived divide between Lancashire's establishment and the folk who pay their subs to support the club in the hope of seeing the team do well.

Instead, the first session and a half saw Yorkshire extend their first innings lead to 332, the second-highest they have enjoyed against their keenest rivals. Lyth took his overnight 182 not out to a career-best 251, a mere single shy of Darren Lehmann's individual Roses record, when he drove Steven Parry to Simon Kerrigan at mid-on, thus giving Lancashire their solitary bowling success of the day.

The first half of this day was tough going for Lancashire's attack. Glen Chapple's bowlers were condemned to the roles of extras in a drama where the leading roles were taken by actors from another company. Thus, it was seen as almost a triumph when a maiden was sent down.

Nor were Lancastrian torments ended with the dismissal of Lyth. Rashid and Richard Pyrah added another 33 with Rashid making 159 not out, his second Championship century of the season. Wristy, quick on his feet and pleasingly incapable of letting the bowlers settle, he reinforced his reputation as a talent of which more may be expected.

But by 2.46pm Andrew Gale had seen enough and he called the batsmen in. Yorkshire's total was the highest by either side in a Roses match, another record on a day replete with them.

Needing to bat for near as damnit a day and a half to secure the draw that would buoy their hopes of avoiding relegation and deny Yorkshire the win that might take them yet closer to the title, Glen Chapple's batsmen began poorly when Luis Reece lost his off stump to a good ball from Ryan Sidebottom in the seventh over.

But Paul Horton and Usman Khawaja then produced some most resolute batting to add 81 in 21 overs before Rashid caught and bowled Horton when he had made 49, the ball catching the leading edge and the spinner diving to his right for the snare.

But there were no more breakthroughs for Yorkshire. Unlike other innings, this summer Lancashire's batting did not disintegrate like the delicate pastry in a perfectly baked Eccles cake. Ashwell Prince, feisty to the last, passed a thousand Championship runs in making 18 not out while Khawaja produced his most technically satisfying innings since his arrival in June and finished 69 not out.

The dismissed Lancashire openers agree that the pitch is still "an Old Trafford slab" and Rashid will be a key man on the last day. As will Adam Lyth with his offspin, perhaps. Well it's about time that Yorkshire pair made some contribution to this engrossing Roses match.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ed on September 8, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    Why on earth are Rashid and Lythe not in the ENG set up. Give me Lythe of Cook any day of the century.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Lovely piece of writing from Paul Edwards - but not entirely convinced that he middled the Tony Harrison allusion ...

  • Dave on September 3, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    I had the pleasure of seeing DLs fabulous knock at Headingley, but I think he did it in half the time of ALs yesterday. However, AL has now challenged the England selectors to get him in and play the same kind of cricket against Oz next year. What more he and Rashid have to do to be noticed is beyond me, but I reckon if they were playing for Mx or Surrey they would have had their chance by now. Three Yorkies in the England team isn't enough - in fact if we could pick them all for England we'd still have enough talent left over to have a good run in the Championship! Izzy Eckerslike (Yorkshire)

  • David on September 3, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    In 1989 the Lancashire team which played the Australian tourists had a better attack than England: Wasim Akram and the world's fastest bowler Patrick Patterson.

    But now those days are gone and the word "attack" is totally misplaced.

    Similarly, that 1989 team had Gehan Mendis, Neil Fairbrother and Trevor Jesty in the batting order.

    To be quite frank, Division 1 of the County Championship today is comparable to the Lancashire Leagues of thirty years ago.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    Re Lillian, as well as a lack of top foreign players, England call ups really affect the standard of the championship too, we've been regularly without at least 3 top players all season at Yorks, it's such a shame that players are wrapped in cotton wool by England and denied the chance to get some proper game time.

  • David on September 3, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    Congratulations to Yorkshire for what they did to us.

    There has been a massive decline in the standard of County Cricket in the last thirty years, because there simply aren't enough overseas players to keep the standard up and to allow young English players to develop.

    We (Lancashire) won the championship three years ago with a really poor team and have just got worse and worse. You only need to look through the squad to see a county scrimping on costs. It's a cut-price squad unworthy of the Lancashire name.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    Yorkshire dominating the old enemy, and Paul Edwards writing wonderfully about it. Pretty much how I expect heaven to be.

  • Dummy4 on September 2, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    Great day for the Yorkies - just need a few early wickets to start things off tomorrow!

  • ian on September 2, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    Lovely report, Paul. As a Roses' neutral (albeit living in darkest Bolton, but from the effete south), I see this Yorkshire side as something quite special. The openers are, with little argument, the best in the country. The middle order (even without the England numbers 3 & 4) has a fine mixture of graft and blast (Williamson & Bairstow) a vigorous tail and aggressive seamers (none moreso than the ageless Sidebottom). Powerful! Adil Rashid really does need to be called up by England. He is that dream combi - the away-turning spinner to the RHB - who bats and scores big. What's not to like? Poor old Lanky! They'll do well to get out of this one, but, there again, it's a Roses match. And Roses' matches, even for a neutral, have always been just about the best the county game has to offer. That's history for you! What was it Maurice Leyland was rumoured to have once said (re: Roses matches)? " No fours before lunch and fair cheating all round."? That's without attempting the accent;-)

  • Dummy4 on September 2, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    Excellent report, well-written with humour and a twist at the end.

  • No featured comments at the moment.