Spinners cement Yorkshire's advantage

Lancashire 187 for 6 trail Yorkshire 447 by 260 runs with four wickets remaining

Yorkshire have not won a Roses match, remarkably, since 2002 but are in a strong position to correct that shortcoming after dominating the first and last sessions on day two here, where Adil Rashid offered further evidence that his self-confidence is beginning to flow back after a difficult few months.

Rashid has always been a bowler in need of regular reassurance and the dismal way in which he was handled by England during the winter has been seen - not only by his own county - as damaging to his morale. Being dropped from the tour to Bangladesh and overlooked for the World Twenty20 seemed to a good few independent judges to be precisely what the young legspinner did not need, particularly after largely being left to carry the drinks with England in South Africa.

A winning contribution to a Roses match would only be good for his self-esteem, and after he and the teenage offspinner Azeem Rafiq shared six wickets between them - five in the final session - there was reason to believe that Yorkshire's eight-year wait for a victory over the old enemy might be about to end, although a bad weather forecast for Thursday is less encouraging.

Rashid's form has been returning in the last month, particularly in the shortest form of the game. In the Friends Provident t20, he is the country's leading wicket-taker with 20 wickets so far, five more than his nearest pursuer among the slower bowlers, and the skill and intelligence with which he bowled here blunted Lancashire's hopes of mounting a substantial reply to Yorkshire's 447.

They were 94 without loss and 101 for 1 at tea but were comprehensively hauled back in the last session.

Until then, against Yorkshire's seam attack - lacking Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan but disappointingly wayward nonetheless - openers Paul Horton and Stephen Moore had looked comfortable, putting together Lancashire's best opening stand of the season by some distance.

But, bowling unchanged for 19 overs at the Statham End in his first spell, Rashid stifled their progress by conceding only 38 runs and, for good measure, claimed the first three wickets, increasing his haul in first-class Roses matches to 31 in eight games. He has taken five in an innings on three occasions.

Each of his successes this time demonstrated a different skill, from the caught-and-bowled chance he snapped up when Moore parried back at him from high on the bat, through Horton's leg-before dismissal to a ball that went straight on, to the turn and bounce that accounted for Mark Chilton, via an edge to slip.

The spell altered the complexion of the contest after Lancashire had given themselves some hope that closing on Yorkshire's 447 - a total allowed to swell rather negligently by Lancashire in the morning - might not be beyond them.

Horton, who averages 73.37 in Roses matches, had taken the score to 101 for 1 with a boundary just before tea and completed his fifth half-century in seven matches against Yorkshire just afterwards.

But his departure for 63 at 131 for 2 was followed swiftly by Chilton at 143 and when Azeem Rafiq, the 19-year-old offspinner, took revenge for a big six struck by Steven Croft by having the allrounder caught at slip next ball, Lancashire were beginning to wobble.

That wobble turned into a bit of a crisis, however. With half a dozen overs left in the day, what they needed most was to reach the close without further damage, especially after allowing Yorkshire to add 68 more runs in the morning before they could take the last two wickets, missing out on a bowling bonus point too.

Instead, Simon Katich, on his Championship debut against a county he represented four times in 2002, was snapped up bat and pad by Adam Lyth off Rafiq, who secured his third wicket by bowling nightwatchman Simon Kerrigan between bat and pad for a duck. Lancashire are still 111 short of avoiding the follow-on.

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Lancashire 4th innings Partnerships

1st9PJ HortonSC Moore
2nd24SM KatichPJ Horton
3rd9MJ ChiltonPJ Horton
4th49MJ ChiltonSJ Croft
5th33SJ CroftTC Smith
6th0LD SuttonSJ Croft
7th34G ChappleSJ Croft
8th34KW HoggSJ Croft