Clark takes a Roses hat-trick on a day of mixed fortunes
Jordan Clark created a piece of Roses history with a sensational hat-trick and went on to take his first five-wicket haul as Yorkshire were shot out for 192 after winning the toss in this Specsavers County Championship match.
But Lancashire then had troubles of their own when it was their turn to bat, bowled out for only 109 to trail by 83 runs going into the second day on a wicket that kept the bowlers interested throughout.
It was a day of mixed feelings for Jordan Clark at the close.
“I was happy to get my first wicket, so to get three in a row, I was over the moon,” he said.
“This afternoon took the sting of it a little bit after they way we’ve gone with the bat. But we’ve got a big opportunity tomorrow to turn it around.
Clark was very modest when it was suggested it might be one of the best hat-tricks taken.
“I’ve no idea (if it is),” he said. “It’s obviously up there because they are all top international players. Any hat-trick is great to get but getting those three makes it very special. It will live long in my memory.
And Clark revealed he had no thoughts of trying to do anything different prior to bowling the hat-trick ball to Jonny Bairstow.
“I was basically just trying to bowl my best ball,” he said. “Just try and repeat what I had done for the previous two balls. I wasn’t trying to over-complicate it.”
Bowling his second over of the day from the Statham End, Clark trapped Joe Root and Kane Williamson lbw before Bairstow edged to Jos Buttler at third slip to spark great celebrations on and off the pitch.
It was only the second hat-trick by a Lancashire bowler in Roses matches since Ken Higgs achieved the feat at Headingley in 1968, and the fourth overall in matches between the two counties.
Clark’s three victims formed an impressive trio; the current England and New Zealand captains and England’s current wicketkeeper with a total of 30,372 first-class runs between them!
The hat-trick occurred just before lunch to transform a morning that had seen Yorkshire make slow but steady progress with Adam Lyth and Harry Brook surviving the first hour with 24 runs on the board.
But the introduction of Graham Onions into attack in the 13th over brought an immediate result with a wicket from his second delivery, Brook hesitant over whether to play the ball and inside edging onto his stumps for 6.
Root was quickly into his stride with five boundaries from his first 18 deliveries and the England captain looked to be in good touch, hitting Clark for consecutive boundaries before becoming the first of the hat-trick victims from the next ball, trapped lbw for 22.
With Williamson and Bairstow departing from the next two deliveries, a shaken Yorkshire were 61-4 at lunch and the visitors suffered further trouble early in the afternoon when Gary Ballance was bowled by Onions for 9 offering no shot.
And it seemed that Clark could do little wrong when the all-rounder deflected Lyth’s straight drive off his own bowling back onto the stumps at the bowler’s end to run out Tim Bresnan for 0 to leave Yorkshire reeling on 86-6.
Lancashire received a big blow when captain Liam Livingstone had to helped from the field holding his left hand following his attempt to take a diving catch at slip during the afternoon. It was later revealed the Red Rose captain had fractured his left thumb and faces a spell on the side-lines.
Lyth and Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson rallied to the White Rose cause with a partnership of 45 runs for the seventh wicket before both were out with the score on 131. Patterson edged Bailey to Keaton Jennings at first slip for 22 and Lyth, who has such a good record at Emirates Old Trafford averaging 68 in first-class cricket alone, followed in similar fashion after looking to turn Anderson to leg but edging to Jennings at slip, thus ending his fine innings on 70.
Clark capped a memorable day with his first five-wicket haul and figures of 5-58 by getting Jack Brooks to chip to Haseeb Hameed at extra cover for 14 and bowling Ben Coad for 15. On loan debutant Josh Poysden was 20 not out as Yorkshire were bowled out for 192.
That left Lancashire with 32 overs to bat, and opening pair Jennings and Alex Davies were typically positive in their approach with Jennings taking three fours from one Bresnan over.
It took a stunning one-handed catch to his left by Root to halt Jennings’ progress when the left-hander pulled Bresnan fiercely to mid-wicket after making 22 of an opening partnership of 46.
And Yorkshire made the most of that breakthrough by taking two wickets in one over to leave Lancashire, without the injured Livingstone, in early trouble on 55-3.
It was Patterson who did the damage bowling Haseeb Hameed, offering no shot, for 1 and two balls later trapping Dane Vilas lbw.
Jos Buttler fell to a leg side ‘strangle’ for 3, edging Bresnan to wicketkeeper Bairstow and the only bright spot of the innings was a good half-century from opener Davies from 72 balls with 10 fours.
But the Red Rose innings collapsed once Davies was out after gloving a catch to Bairstow off Coad for 51. That wicket was the first of three to fall in the same over as Coad (3-38) bowled both Bailey and Onions for second-ball ducks.
When Clark perished for 15, hitting out but finding Bresnan at deep backward square off Brooks, four wickets had fallen with the total on 92.
And Lancashire were all out for 109 just before the close when Anderson was trapped lbw for 8 by Brooks to trail by 83 having lost nine wickets for 63 runs in the final session.
“I think it’s a really good cricket wicket. We got a few good balls and that was mixed in with some bad decision making,” said Clark.
“No-one wants to fall in one session,” he continued. “It was tough losing Livvy. But there’s no excuses, we were way under par.
“We talk about trying not to lose wickets in clumps. But we didn’t do that today. It puts pressure on the next man in. At the same time you have to play the way you want to play, and have your game plan.
“There wasn’t many partnerships after we had got off to a good start with Keats and Alex. It was a really good catch by Joe (Root) to break that partnership. So we need to look at what we’ve done and try and build partnerships.
And Clark is positive about the approach required on day two.
“We need to put in a good performance with the ball again tomorrow,” he said. “And then try and put the things we did wrong in the first innings right when it’s our turn to bat.
“I think we’ve got the bowlers to do it. The effort is always there and we’ve got to try and come out on top tomorrow.”
After what transpired today it could be a fascinating and eventful day at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow.
Photos: Barry Mitchell