Tykes on course for Roses victory

Liam Plunkett: top second innings scorer for Yorkshire.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Liam Plunkett: top second innings scorer for Yorkshire. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Coach Jason Gillespie praised Yorkshire’s batting recovery as they were on course to win their first home Roses match since 2001 and only their second in 25 seasons after setting Lancashire a stiff target of 349 on the third day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Headingley.

Rashid, Bresnan and Plunkett got us out of a very tight spot,” he said. “Lancashire are a good competitive side and it has been a tough battle but that is what you expect from a Roses clash. It is a good challenge for us.”

The Championship front-runners had reached 41 for one when bad light stopped play which left them requiring a further 308 runs in a game which has so far seen only one century partnership. Yorkshire had to fight hard to impose their authority on a contest of many twists and turns and they were still breathing uneasily at 89 for six when their lead was a modest 201.

Tim Bresnan and Adil Rashid brought some stability to the situation with a 41 stand but it was not until Rashid was joined by Plunkett that Yorkshire fans could start to relax under the floodlights which had been switched on for all but the first 40 minutes.

With Rashid playing wristy strokes and Plunkett driving powerfully the eighth wicket pair added 74 together before Simon Kerrigan had Rashid caught by stand-in wicket-keeper, Steven Croft, scrambling to short leg to hold the bat-pad chance.

There was no stopping Plunkett, however, as he approached his half-century and after getting there with a boundary off Kerrigan he drove the left-arm spinner into the boards at the back of the northeast stand but in attempting another big hit in the same over he was caught by Alviro Petersen at long-off for 57 from 84 balls with seven fours and a six.

Lancashire openers Smith and Haseeb Hameed survived together for 13 overs before Smith drove Patterson gently to Plunkett at short cover, leaving Luke Procter to keep Hameed company until bad light ended play with 16.4 overs remaining.

Meanwhile, England pair Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root have been cleared to play for Yorkshire Vikings in their sold-out T20 Blast clash with Lancashire on Friday.

The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.