Yorkshire v Lancashire, Headingley, 2nd day May 31, 2008

Horton and Yousuf take control

John Ward at Headingley

Lancashire 243 for 2 (Horton 137*, Yousuf 93*) trail Yorkshire 395 (Rudolph 66, Bresnan 64*, Mahmood 4-89) by 152 runs
Scorecard


Tim Bresnan boosted Yorkshire's total, but Lancashire ended the day with their noses in front © Getty Images
 
The second day of the Roses match could be divided into two parts. Yorkshire won the first, with some good tail-end batting and incisive new-ball bowling; after that, Lancashire surged ahead with an unbroken partnership of 234 and Paul Horton unbeaten on 137, leaving the match well poised, but with the visitors probably the happier of the two sides.

The first part of the day brought little joy for Lancashire. They had Yorkshire seven wickets down overnight, but it took them almost until the lunch interval to dismiss the last three batsmen. Tim Bresnan hammered the first ball of the day, from Sajid Mahmood, through the covers for four. Mahmood was not as dangerous as he had been the previous day, and Dominic Cork produced an erratic opening burst. For their part, Bresnan and Richard Pyrah enjoyed a few fortunate strokes, but they kept piercing the field. They put on 55 before Pyrah was well caught by Cork, at full stretch, off the persevering Gary Keedy, for 24.

Soon after, Bresnan reached his 50 off 109 balls, while Darren Gough played a few slashes and got a few edges in his 12. He and last man Ben Sanderson were both caught off Oliver Newby by the wicket-keeper Luke Sutton, who took seven catches in the innings. This was a record for a keeper from ether side in a Roses match, and equalled the Lancashire record jointly held by Bill Farrimond and Warren Hegg. Yorkshire were dismissed for 395, with Bresnan unbeaten on an admirable 64.

Lancashire had three overs to see out before lunch, and they soon wished they had taken just a little longer to bowl Yorkshire out. They had a torrid time of it, exemplified by three successive lbw appeals by Bresnan against Iain Sutcliffe, the third proving successful. By lunch, there were still no runs on the board with one wicket down.

After the break Yorkshire soon struck again, Gough striking this time with another lbw success, Mal Loye departing, also without scoring; 8 for 2. Then came the critical turning point of the day. Mohammad Yousuf, with just a single to his credit, edged Bresnan low to the left of second slip, who was unable to hold on to the chance. From this point, the balance swung in favour of Lancashire.

Yorkshire, like Lancashire, have a long injury list of pace bowlers, and their two back-up seamers, Pyrah and Sanderson, are very short of first-class experience, although Pyrah is a frequent one-day player. When the new-ball pairing came off after a sterling joint effort, they were unable to maintain the pressure - as Yousuf soon showed, as he gently helped Pyrah's second ball over the long-leg boundary for six to reach double figures.

Horton survived the opening assault without trouble and was in fine form. He is not a spectacular player, although well able to keep the scoreboard moving, and his name is seldom mentioned as a possible Test candidate, but in 32 matches he has a first-class average of over 50, virtually matching that of his illustrious Pakistani partner. This was his sixth century and his second against Yorkshire in two innings against them.

Just before tea, this third-wicket pair completed Lancashire's first century partnership of the season in any competitive match, and they continued their impressive work after the break, despite the distractions of the crucial Leeds Rhinos rugby match taking place just over a hundred yards away, just behind the ground's main stand. Gough and Bresnan returned for a second spell after tea, perhaps a little late, but were unable to break through, and the other bowlers rarely caused any trouble.

A unusual event occurred late in the day: the two teams completed the requisite daily ration of 96 overs 15 minutes before the scheduled closing time. This is a rare and there was even a loudspeaker announcement to explain to the crowd that play would nevertheless still continue until 6pm.

Lancashire finished the day with a potential advantage at 243 for 2, Horton with 137 and Yousuf on 93, facing his first century for the county after a previous best of 40. They will be looking to establish a significant lead on the third day - but the weather forecast is not good.

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