Rain saves Lancashire from rout
Yorkshire 34 for 0 v Lancashire 89 (Gough 3-17) - no result
Rain robbed Yorkshire of a likely victory over Lancashire in their FP Trophy match, and consequently top place in the group and a home semi-final next week. They could hardly have done more after completely dominating their Roses rival, but persistent rain at 4pm shattered their ambitions.
The match was played between two rather depleted teams - Lancashire were without Stuart Law, with a broken finger, as well as Cork, Flintoff and Chapple through injury; Yorkshire had a decimated pace attack, with Hoggard, Kruis, Morkel and Naved all having dropped off one after the other. Lancashire won the toss and decided to bat, rather surprisingly considering the damp, cloudy conditions; perhaps fear of Duckworth-Lewis had an influence on them.
Lancashire never for a moment looked like making a fist of their batting. The light at the start, and indeed for most of the day, would probably have been too poor for a Championship match. Yorkshire called on the inexperienced Steven Patterson to share the new ball with Tim Bresnan, and with his second ball for the county this season he struck gold, having Paul Horton caught low at second slip for 4.
Patterson has been criticised in the past for trying to bowl too fast, but this time he put in a disciplined performance that was just what his team needed. He soon added the wicket of Mal Loye (2), off an inside-edge, superbly held one-handed by the wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy. Bresnan, inconsistent with the ball this season, found good form today and made the ball lift sharply at times. When Darren Gough came on as first change, Yorkshire had an impressive seam bowling line-up, and the Lancashire batsmen were not up to the test.
Mohammad Yousuf, his temporary visa problem now resolved, was back in the Lancashire side, but he never looked comfortable on this occasion, as he struggled for two singles before driving slightly across the line to Bresnan and being caught at the wicket. Iain Sutcliffe fought hard for 16 off 36 balls, and he was the best of the recognised batsmen. Lancashire slumped to 58 for 8.
Kyle Hogg was the only batsman who had a look at what had gone before and decided that, since conventional warfare was getting nowhere, the nuclear attack was a gamble worth taking. He hit out boldly, running up 25 off 23 balls, with four fours - equalling the total of boundaries struck by his ten colleagues - before finally holing out to mid-on. It may just have been that his innings denied Yorkshire the time needed to win the match on Duckworth-Lewis, but even had he failed, it would have been a close-run thing.
Lancashire were all out, embarrassingly, for 89 in the 32nd over. Yorkshire's seamers all had fine figures, Gough leading the way with 3 for 17, and two wickets each for Patterson, Richard Pyrah and Anthony McGrath. The conditions gave them considerable help with lift and movement, but they made thoroughly good use of them.
But the rain was closing in. Only three balls were possible when Yorkshire replied, and only a wide scored, when the players had to leave the field for almost 45 minutes. Then Andrew Gale, 23 off 19 balls, and Craig White, 8 off 10, made light of the conditions as they dominated the Lancashire seamers, before the rain returned. When it stopped, the field was too sodden to allow a resumption and at 6pm the umpires declared the contest over.