Symonds smashes third century
Yorkshire 417 and 71 for 0 (Wood 32*, Sayers 26*) trail Lancashire 537 (Symonds 146, Chilton 130, Sutcliffe 93, Kruis 5-102)
Andrew Symonds cracked his third century in three Championship matches for Lancashire as they established a first innings lead of 120 in the Roses clash at Old Trafford. However, the Yorkshire openers, Matthew Wood and Joe Sayers, weathered an early barrage in the second innings to leave the draw as the favourite result on the final day.
Yorkshire had begun the day in fine style as Deon Kruis grabbed three early wickets to put the skids under Lancashire's efforts to establish a significant lead. From their overnight position of 243 for 2, they lost 3 for 17 including Mark Chilton, caught down the leg side, as failed to add to his 130. Kruis found some lift and movement, inducing Stuart Law to flash outside his off stump (244 for 4) then had Marcus North caught in the gully from an attempting drive (250 for 5).
Dominic Cork stopped the slide, in partnership with Symonds, as the pair added 116 with a mixture of watchful defence and measured attack. Symonds, after a careful start, began to open his shoulder as he approached, and then cruised past, his half century. Cork was his usual hyperactive self but after reaching his fifty he was brilliantly caught by Wood, who sprinted back from slip to hold a top-edged pull (366 for 6). That gave Kruis is fourth scalp, then he snaffled his fifth when Glen Chapple was taken at second slip (371 for 7).
But if Yorkshire thought they were through the batting they were badly mistaken. Warren Hegg combined with Symonds to add 137 for the eighth wicket but it didn't all go quite to plan for Lancashire. Symonds had opened his shoulders - taking a particular liking to Richard Dawson's offspin - to give Lancashire a chance of reaching 400 within 130 overs, which is the requirement for full batting bonus points. However, Hegg couldn't manage three runs off Kruis, who bowled a brilliant over and Lancashire had to be content with building their lead. Yorkshire also missed out a bowling point by taking only seven wickets within 130 overs.
Symonds - after 19 powerful fours and an effortless six - eventually holed out to point off the persevering Tim Bresnan (508 for 8), who then had James Anderson caught behind (537 for 9). Bresnan deserved his four wickets after more than 40 overs on a flat pitch and he Kruis had to shoulder a lot more work after Chris Silverwood was forced off with a hamstring strain. Hegg's enterprising 68 was ended as Dawson finally claimed a wicket, with Phil Jaques holding a smart catch at slip from Hegg's reverse sweep.
Yorkshire's sole aim was then to set about saving the game and they have made a solid start. Wood and Sayers both got struck by Cork during a fiery burst but survived and were in the middle of a trail by spin when bad light intervened and brought an early close. There was enough help for Gary Keedy - and not just from the rough - to suggest that the final day could still bring some intrigue although leaving with honours even in this Roses clash is the likely scenario.
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo