Match Preview: Yorkshire v Lancashire
Both counties may have already qualified for the Championship’s top group in late August and through September, but that only serves to heighten the importance of this final group fixture
LV= Insurance County Championship
Sunday July 11 - Wednesday July 14, 2021, 11am
The Roses fixture will not be repeated again this summer with only four games played in the final six-team group stage. So points are carried forwards from games between the team you advance with.
It is half the aggregate total of points accrued from the two games.
Lancashire currently have 22 to Yorkshire’s one having won at Emirates Old Trafford in late May.
A similar haul this week, completing the double over the White Rose for the first time since 2011 - omens, hey! - would leave them in an excellent position heading into the next phase.
The quirk of the structure means that despite Lancashire being in the stronger position with those points that you carry already on the board, Yorkshire are actually top of the Group Three table.
They have recovered impressively from that Roses loss to win the two fixtures which followed, against Sussex at Emerald Headingley and against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
The Northants win came last week, with Steve Patterson’s side claiming a two-point advantage at the summit as the Red Rose were being frustrating in a rain-affected game they dominated but were unable to force victory in the limited playing time available.
This one is clearly set up for an absolute cracker of a fixture and one for which both sets of supporters will believe they need to be triple jabbed never mind double to guard against the other!
Both sides have unavailability issues to contend with.
Lancashire will be missing internationals Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson, while Yorkshire are without Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root and David Willey.
The Red Rose will once again be able to call upon 1,000 first-class wicket star Jimmy Anderson ahead of England’s Test series against India.
Yorkshire have been forced into the short-term signing of batsman Sam Northeast following his release from Hampshire. This is the last of his initial two-game Championship spell with the county.
His signing has come as a result of recent injuries to Tom Kohler-Cadmore (broken finger) and Will Fraine (oblique strain).
The main feature of Yorkshire’s Championship performances this season have been their ability to fight back from adversity.
They have accrued five wins from nine games in Group Three and 141 points - both more than any other county.
But they have been bowled out for 200 or less and failed to take a single batting bonus point in four of those nine games.
Ironically, one the one game when the White Rose county failed to bounce back from early troubles with the bat was against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford when they were 40-7 on day one and ended up losing by an innings and 79.
Adam Lyth (634 runs) and Harry Brook (576) have been their standout performers with the bat.
Brook, 22, has also enjoyed a sensational Vitality Blast campaign. After last week’s Roses win at Headingley, he was the leading run-scorer in the competition with 463 at an average of 115.75.
There was some pleasant surprise in White Rose circles that he didn’t make England’s brand new, inexperienced one-day international squad for the Pakistan series following the Coronavirus complications at the start of the week.
Captain Steve Patterson is their leading wicket-taker with 26, while Jordan Thompson (24), Dom Bess (23) and Ben Coad (20) are not far behind.
What a win this was! In late May, Lancashire claimed their first Roses Championship win at Emirates Old Trafford in 21 years and their first at any venue since 2011.
Yorkshire slumped to 40-7 during the first morning before recovering to 159. Tom Bailey returned fabulous figures of 3-6 from 14 overs.
In reply, Keaton Jennings made 114 opening the batting and Josh Bohannon an unbeaten 127 as the Red Rose grinded out 509-9 dec deep into the third day.
Yorkshire started their second innings 350 behind and dug in on an attritional pitch.
Five of their batsmen faced over 100 balls, including Harry Brook with 52 and Dom Bess with 46, and they took the game inside the final half hour.
But Saqib Mahmood (5-47) and Matthew Parkinson (3-61) were superb to secure victory by an innings and 79.
Mahmood struck twice and Parkinson once as the White Rose lost their last three wickets on 271 to spark jubilant home celebrations in the first home first-team fixture with a crowd since September 2019.
Oh Jimmy, Jimmy!:
Jimmy Anderson lit up Emirates Old Trafford on Monday as he dismissed Heino Kuhn to claim his 1,000th first-class victim.
Anderson is clearly England’s greatest ever Test bowler. He is after all, the only seamer for any nation to have reached 600 wickets in that format.
But where does he stand in the Lancashire reckoning?
There are many bowlers with more first-class wickets for the Red Rose, including record holder Brian Statham with 1,816.
Anderson’s haul is very similar to that of former Pakistan quick Wasim Akram, who many will say is the county’s greatest ever overseas player.
Wasim took 374 wickets in his time at Emirates Old Trafford, while Anderson has taken 340 first-class wickets for the county. Wasim’s came at an average of 21.65 and Anderson’s at an average of 21.63.
In all first-class cricket, including Tests, Wasim claimed 1,042 wickets at 21.64 and Anderson has 1,003 to date at 24.70.
What they said:
Glen Chapple is not waiting until late August to get the Championship’s top group up and running.
The top six teams in the country will fight it out for the Championship title and the Bob Willis Trophy.
Lancashire and Yorkshire are already qualified, but the carrying of points makes this final Group Three fixture a vital affair.
The Head Coach said: "It is a good feeling to know we’re in Division One before the last game because there are going to be a lot of teams playing under a lot of pressure this week.
“It’s still a big game because half of the points you gain from the two matches against the team you go through with are very relevant.
“The carrot of two wins (against Yorkshire) would be a great start to Division One.
“Yorkshire are an excellent team, and that’s far from ‘a given’ going to Headingley.
“But we beat them at home, which is a great start, and we are looking forward to a good week.”