Yorkshire 192 (Lyth 70, Clark 5-58) leadLancashire 109 (Davies 51, Coad 3-28) by 83 runs
It is doubtful if many of those attending the 272nd first-class Roses match arrived at Emirates Old Trafford talking of the contribution Jordan Clark might make to the match. It is unlikely if by mid-afternoon anyone was discussing anything else.
Yet by the end of the day even Clark's hat-trick and his career-best figures were becoming vague memories of a mad Sunday on which both sides had been bowled out, supporters of each team had called for everyone to resign and Lancashire's captain, Liam Livingstone, had broken his thumb. Yorkshire ended the day comfortably in the ascendant, as they so often do in Roses matches, but the means of their ascent made the Hinterstoisser traverse look facile.
For on a day which began in the thick-furred gloom of a Mancunian morning yet ended in the crystal sunlight of this treasured summer Clark became only the second Lancashire bowler to take a hat-trick in this fixture since the County Championship was properly constituted in 1890. And when he bowled Ben Coad for 15 to end Yorkshire's innings for what seemed a plainly inadequate 192, Clark had taken 5 for 58, his finest figures for Lancashire.
The quality of Clark's hat-trick victims was even more bewitching than the feat itself. Those who had hoped to see Joe Root make runs had to be content with five fluent boundaries before the England captain pushed half forward to Clark and was leg before. Enter Kane Williamson, who was caught helplessly on the crease by Clark's first delivery to him. Exit Williamson and enter Jonny Bairstow, whose nervous prod edged a catch to Jos Buttler at third slip. Yorkshire 59 for 4.
Having dismissed the batsmen ranked second, third and 16th in the world, Clark indulged in an aeroplane impersonation and sprinted towards The Point, caught in the exultation of the moment. He was followed by his team-mates and the game was reduced to a Benny Hill sketch. The black comedy awaited us.
In the pavilion most of the former players attending their Lancashire reunion watched these events happily and one hopes they showed Clark's celebrations appropriate indulgence. After all, none of them could talk about their hat-tricks in Roses matches. The only man to share Clark's honour was Ken Higgs, who passed away in 2016, although one could argue that playing for Lancashire and taking a Roses hat trick are two of the few things the pair have in common.
Clark looks like an athlete whereas Higgs, as his obituary in Wisden obituary pointed out, had "an arse which crossed two postcodes". Clark has a straight run-up whereas Higgs had a curving approach and rumbled to the wicket like an irate landlord in hot pursuit of a chiseler. Clark's diet is strictly controlled and probably owes much to energy supplements and isotonic refuelling. Higgs more or less lived on fish and chips.
But both men know, or knew, how to compel the shot and move the ball late, albeit that Higgs's virtues earned him 1536 first-class wickets whereas Clark has so far picked up 75. And neither man had to be born in Lancashire in order to pledge their loyalty. Clark is a Cumbrian; Higgs was born in Staffordshire. They also serve who hail from Whitehaven or Kidsgrove.
So great was Clark's apparent dominance of this day - he also ran out Tim Bresnan for nought when he got a hand to a fierce straight-drive by Adam Lyth - that it was sometimes difficult to understand that other cricketers were playing well too. Old Trafford may not be Lyth's favourite ground; indeed, expressing such an opinion may be something of a heresy in Yorkshire. But it is one on which he has scored a lot of runs and the opener's fluent 70 was vital in ensuring his side posted what became an eminently defendable total. When Bresnan was out, Yorkshire were 86 for 6 but Lyth helped Steve Patterson put on 45 before both fell to slip catches by Keaton Jennings, Lyth being James Anderson's only victim.
But what had appeared to be a bottomless Harrod's hamper of a day for Lancashire rapidly became a soggy packed lunch. The most serious long-term blow was struck when Liam Livingstone fractured his left thumb when attempting to take a slip catch off Lyth. He is likely to be out of action for some time.
Perhaps in solidarity with their captain, Lancashire's batsmen then inflicted some blows on themselves and they should be fatal for their chances in this game. Yorkshire's four seamers bowled superbly, no one better than Ben Coad, who took three wickets in an over as the home side lost four wickets for no runs in eight balls.
By then, though, Haseeb Hameed had been dismissed for the fourth successive innings when playing no shot, a dismissal followed two balls later by Dane Vilas's departure, leg before on the back leg to Patterson. Alex Davies made 51 and put on 46 for the first wicket with Keaton Jennings, who was brilliantly caught one handed by Root at short midwicket off Bresnan. Jennings was blameless but many other Lancashire batsmen were deeply culpable. God knows what the former players thought of it but one doubts it harmed bar takings.