Dramatic second day sees fortunes fluctuate in Roses clash
Another dramatic day of fluctuating fortunes in this Roses Match ended with Lancashire on 194-6 in their second innings still, still 129 runs away from victory.
Red Rose hopes looked to be fading at 110-5 before an 80-run partnership between Jos Buttler and Tom Bailey brought Lancashire back into contention only for Joe Root to take the big wicket of Buttler in the penultimate over of the day.
Despite the visitors now being strong favourites to wrap up victory tomorrow morning, Bailey-who is 38 not out- isn’t about to concede this game is done from a Lancashire point of view.
“It’s a bit disappointing where we are (after two days).” he said.
“It’s a decent wicket so we are going to have to dig in tomorrow and see what we can come up with.
“Losing Jos right at the end really dampened the mood in the dressing room.
“But I think me and the boys coming in will put up a big fight tomorrow.”
A fine innings of 82 by Jonny Bairstow in a 133-run partnership with Harry Brook laid the foundations in the visitors’ second innings total of 239 to set Lancashire a target of 323 runs to win with over two days still to play.
After 19 wickets had fallen on day one, the second morning of the Roses Match got off to an explosive start as Yorkshire lost three early wickets inside the first six overs.
All three batsmen departed from edges to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas with Graham Onions bagging Adam Lyth for 4 and Kane Williamson for 1, the latter leaving it too late to pull out of an attempted shot.
In-between James Anderson produced an excellent delivery that forced Joe Root to play forward, the England captain edging to Vilas for 3.
Bairstow, in partnership with Brook, went on the attack and from a position of 21-3, with the cushion of an 83-run first innings lead, the Yorkshire pair rattled up their 50 stand from only 33 balls although Lancashire missed a great chance when Bairstow was dropped at mid-on off Onions when on 22. It was to prove a costly spill.
Undeterred Bairstow continued to cut and drive with aplomb, reaching his half century from just 38 balls while Brook went to his fifty from 60 balls as the visitors continued to build a big lead.
The 100 partnership arrived from 86 balls as stand-in skipper Vilas rotated the attack in search of a breakthrough. That arrived in the last over before lunch when Brook edged down the leg side to be caught behind off Bailey for 55 with Yorkshire 154-4 but well in command with a lead of 237 runs.
And Bairstow, who at times looked like he was playing a different game, continued to prosper but his attacking intent also provided his downfall when his front foot drive off Graham Onions (3-44) flew to Buttler at point to end his stay at the crease after hitting 82 from 67 balls and leave Yorkshire very strongly positioned at 160-5.
That they added a further 79 valuable runs while losing their last five wickets was due largely to captain Steve Patterson who hit six boundaries in making an unbeaten 45 while batsmen departed with regularity at the other end.
Gary Ballance made 9 before his attempted pull off Bailey was well caught by the Vilas tumbling to his right while Jordan Clark and Matt Parkinson each took a brace in bowling Yorkshire all out for 239 at tea leaving Lancashire a victory target of 323.
Faced with a final session of 48 overs, opening pair Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies made a good start scoring 54 runs from the first 14 overs. Davies had struck six boundaries, including two from the same Bresnan over before being trapped lbw for 22.
Jennings and Haseeb Hameed then added 32 runs to the total before Lancashire were rocked back by the loss of four wickets for 24 runs.
Jennings had made a determined 30 from 76 balls but fell lbw to Coad and Poysden skidded one delivery on to trap Vilas lbw for 1.
Hameed, off the mark with a cover drive for four, played nicely in making 31 including the first six of the match off Poysden. But he could do little from a lifting delivery from Patterson that caught the glove on its way through to wicketkeeper Bairstow.
Patterson then struck three balls later when Clark edged to Bairstow to leave Lancashire on 110-5.
But this topsy-turvey game took yet another twist as Buttler and Bailey produced a resolute partnership of 80 in 15 overs with Bailey providing great support in making an unbeaten 38 off 45 balls.
Buttler hit a six to move to his half-century and his anguish was plain to see when he fell to a catch at leg slip for 59 off Root in the penultimate over of the day.
That was a huge blow to Red Rose hopes tomorrow with Lancashire, 194-6, still needing another 129 runs for victory.
Bailey added: “It’s been a bit of a mixed bag (for us) really.
“If you look at their batting line-up we would have been happy to bowl them for those totals. We’re just not happy with 109 all out in our first innings and 194-6 in this innings.
“I didn’t think we’d be here after day two talking like this (with the fourth innings in progress).
“Especially with what we thought the wicket would be like. It’s a bit of an odd situation because it still feels like a decent wicket. But it’s just done enough."
Yorkshire possibly need four wickets for victory, with Liam Livingstone suffering a broken thumb on the first day not batting in the first innings and yet to appear in the second.
Asked whether he thought the Red Rose skipper would come out to bat if the situation warranted it, Bailey said: “Potentially (he will). Livvy’s the type of guy who would do that.
“So if we can get close, I’m sure we’ll see him sticking his pads on and coming out at number eleven.”
Photos: Simon Pendrigh and Barry Mitchell