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August 16, 2005
Yorkshire 324 for 6 (White 71*, Dawson 27*) v Lancashire
The scenes at Old Trafford were a world away from the high-octane action during the closing stages of the pulsating third Test, but the opening day of a typically hard-fought and gritty Roses clash produced some intriguing action. Matthew Wood and Craig White held the Yorkshire batting together as Lancashire's bowlers chipped away each time a partnership was threatening to develop.
At the close White was content with Yorkshire's position: "I'd have taken that score at the start of the day," he told Sky Sports. "The Lancashire bowlers did well and it wasn't always easy for us. I don't like to set too many targets but it would be nice to push on and get full batting points [400 runs in 130 overs] tomorrow morning."
With the teams lying second and third in the division and searching a return to the top flight, a decent crowd - especially in the members area - graced Old Trafford, although the only chance of being turned away was if you turned up in gold and green. This fixture also has extra spice after Lancashire were denied a near-certain win at Headingley when Yorkshire survived a final day battle with nine wickets down. Sound familiar?
Yorkshire's openers - Wood and Joe Sayers - faced up to a new-ball attack with 49 Tests between them but they safely negotiated the early threat of James Anderson and Dominic Cork. Both batsmen had the occasional moments of fortune especially against Cork who produced found some nibble.
However, the first breakthrough came from Glen Chapple when he had Sayers taken at first slip by Stuart Law - the ball after he had been dropped by Mark Chilton at second slip (58 for 1). Wood played securely throughout the morning session and both he and Anthony McGrath stroked some pleasing boundaries.
Chapple grabbed his second wicket shortly after the lunch break as he produced a beauty to take McGrath's outside edge (118 for 2). Phil Jaques has been in prolific form this season, he already has 1173 runs at 61, so was the obvious danger man for Lancashire. But Lancashire have some powerful cricketers of their own and Andrew Symonds - operating in his medium pace mode - troubled Jaques with some late swing and trapped him lbw (148 for 3).
All the while Wood was building towards a century with some sweet cover drives and crisp clips off his legs. He was kicking himself when, on 86, he slashed a wide long hop from Anderson to Symonds at cover point who held the catch with deceptive ease. Yorkshire were 176 for 4 and in danger of wasting the advantage of batting first.
Yorkshire's batsmen continued to oblige with some more loose shots with Michael Lumb missed a sweep against a quicker ball from Keedy (214 for 5) after showing impressive restraint for the majority of his innings.
Ismail Dawood took the aggressive approach while White stood firm at the other end before the curse of the part-time bowler got the better of him. Marcus North looped up some part-time offspin and after Dawood had dispatched the obligatory full toss he got an outside edge to Law at slip, via Warren Hegg's thigh.
Yorkshire, though, bat a long way down and Richard Dawson's batting has improved this season. He partnered White for the rest of the day and neither was afraid to play their shots as the Lancashire attack tired. Yorkshire may have batted in fits and starts but they have runs on the board and that always creates pressure - just ask the Australians.
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of CricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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