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Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Sunday, 2 August 2009 19:28 UK

Loye and Laxman lead Lancs charge

CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY THREE Yorkshire 181 and 70-2, Lancashire 489-5 dec
(Lancs 8pts, Yorks 1pt)
31 July - 3 August 2009

Mal Loye and VVS Laxman
Loye and Laxman both hit their first championship tons of the season

Mal Loye and VVS Laxman both hit their first championship centuries of the season as Lancashire took complete charge on day three against Yorkshire.

Resuming on 219-2 in reply to the visitors' 181, Loye (146) and Laxman (109) took their third wicket stand to 225 before both fell to Adil Rashid.

Lancashire eventually declared their first innings closed on 489-5, a lead of 308.

The Tykes reached 71-2 in their second innings at the close, still 237 behind.

Jacques Rudolph finished the day unbeaten on 33, with Andrew Gale 17 not out.

But Lancashire will fancy their chances of completing victory on the final day after Sajid Mahmood forced Joe Sayers to edge to Laxman at slip and first-innings bowling hero Tom Smith trapped Anthony McGrath leg before.

Yet the day belonged to the Lancashire batsmen as they recorded maximum batting points for only the second time in 29 Division One matches.

Loye, 61 not out overnight, set the tone by clubbing Rashid for six off the third ball of the day and reached his first century since April 2007 off 158 balls.

In total he hit 18 fours and two sixes in his 234-ball innings.

Laxman's century included 13 boundaries and saw him open up against Rashid in the 120th over to score the 15 runs Lancashire needed to secure maximum batting points.

Both Loye and Laxman fell to Rashid, while Francois du Plessis could make only 18 before being caught by Joe Sayers at short cover off Ajmal Shahzad.

That left Lancashire 426-5, but Mark Chilton (38 not out) and Luke Sutton (30 not out) shared an unbroken stand of 63 in 11 overs before the declaration came.

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