Loye punishes wayward Yorkshire

Lancashire 228 for 3 (Loye 113*, Law 59*) v Yorkshire

A magnificent 113 from Mal Loye put Lancashire in charge of the 242nd Roses match against Yorkshire at Headingley. Under cloudy skies and on a pitch with a juicy, greenish tint, Loye defied the bowler-friendly conditions and shared in an unbeaten 142-run stand with Stuart Law.
Yorkshire, who chose to field for the third time in as many matches, were serenaded onto the pitch by a corps of drums, and soon had Lancashire in the perilous position of 17 for 2. Deon Kruis found one to bounce on Mark Chilton, the Lancashire captain, who fended it to Anthony McGrath at second slip. Not long after, Iain Sutcliffe got himself into a dreadful mess when, pushing a delivery from Jason Gillespie, he trod on his stumps.

Although the situation, not to mention the conditions, favoured the bowlers Loye was dominant from the outset. With Brad Hodge - who returned from his brief trip back to Australia, for the birth of his son - the pair put on a vital 69 for the third wicket. And though Hodge was looking increasingly confident, smashing five fours and taking particular fancy to John Blain, a lazy pull destroyed his stumps to give Blain his first and only wicket of the day.

Loye was unfazed, however. After bringing up a brisk 57-ball fifty, he and Stuart Law dominated a stop-start afternoon as rain and bad light continued to threaten proceedings. Although buoyed by his early wicket, Blain lacked control and continually sprayed the ball wide or pitched it far too short, giving plenty of scoring opportunities to Law and Loye, aptly demonstrated by his figures of 1 for 49 from five overs.

Shortly before bad light cut the day short, Law - who earlier passed his 5,000th run for Lancashire - memorably smashed Jason Gillespie for a four through the covers, to hand the advantage and momentum to Lancashire.