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Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 18:24 UK

Lancashire battle to Roses draw

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE, Headingley:
CLOSE OF PLAY, FINAL DAY: Match Drawn. Lancashire 276 and 196-2, Yorkshire 429
(Yorks 7pts, Lancs 5pts)
19-22 August 2009


Yorkshire v Lancashire

The Roses Match ended in a tame draw at Headingley after relegation-threatened Yorkshire failed to cash on a sizable first-innings lead over Lancashire.

The Tykes expanded their first innings to 429 on the final day, young all-rounder Adil Rashid ending his already career-best knock on 157 not out.

But Lancashire, 153 behind, reached 196-2 before hands were shaken with Mal Loye on 85 and VVS Laxman 65.

The consolation for Yorkshire was that they remain just clear of trouble.

The battle to avoid going down with Worcestershire, who are way adrift, is incredibly tight, with just four points now covering the teams from fifth to eighth.

After taking 11 points from the game, Yorkshire are now a point ahead of eighth-placed Hampshire and just two behind Warwickshire, who are a point behind Sussex.

And even fourth-placed Lancashire, whose title hopes are now over, are not comfortable, just 22 points clear of danger, having played a game more than the rest.

Yorkshire were already 110 in front when they resumed the final day on 386-7 with Rashid on a career-best 136 and Ajmal Shahzad 24, their eighth-wicket stand worth 74.

They moved it on to 100 before Shahzad attempted to reverse sweep Francois du Plessis, but only succeeded in giving a catch to point. And David Wainwright was not in long before he came down the pitch to Gary Keedy and was stumped.

Matthew Hoggard helped Rashid add a further 26 for the last wicket before he became Keedy's third victim.

That left Rashid marooned on 157, his second unbeaten century in a row, having held the fort for 393 minutes.

And the fact that he hit just 12 fours in his 239 deliveries was an indication of how disciplined his innings had been.

Having helped Yorkshire recover from 72-5, and the possibility of defeat, the Tykes now had a shot at a second successive Championship win if they could pick up early wickets.

Tim Bresnan struck in the 12th over when Steven Croft went for a loose pull and brushed a catch to keeper Gerard Brophy.

But, crucially, Bresnan then had two catches dropped in the space of four balls.

First, opener Paul Horton got away with a thick edge through the hands of Joe Sayers at second slip. And Loye's pull to mid-wicket was put down by Jonny Bairstow diving forward.

Lancashire lunched more comfortably on 45-1. And, even when Horton did fall after the resumption to another catch by Brophy, Yorkshire were unable exert any real pressure.

With the pitch having flattened out, giving no real help to seam or spin, Loye and Laxman were able to settle in and save the game.


Lancashire coach Peter Moores told BBC Radio Manchester:

"The wicket lacked pace and actually got flatter. That made it tough to score at any real rate.

"If we could have got them seven or eight down on the second night we might have had a chance. But Adil Rashid came out and played really well and a draw was the fair result.

"We've had a tough month because of all the injuries and international calls, but everybody has stepped up to the mark and the batsmen in particular have performed very well."



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