Cricket: Green finds rich seam

Yorkshire 67 Lancashire 91-3
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THE WORRY for Lancashire, now that Muttiah Muralitharan has been and gone, is that their momentum will fizzle out and leave them still floundering in the bottom half of the Championship table. On this evidence, they need not be concerned. After Yorkshire were bowled out for 67, John Crawley's team are already anticipating a fifth consecutive victory.

By the close, with Graham Lloyd and Andy Flintoff applying themselves positively to the job in hand, Lancashire had survived their own uncertain beginnings to edge in front. Thanks in no small measure to Flintoff's violent 45 off 56 balls, Lancashire had recovered from 22 for 3 to take a 24-run lead.

Yorkshire's score was their lowest in a Roses match since 1968, when they were dismissed for 61. It made David Byas's decision to bat first look somewhat embarrassing, although, faced with a used pitch expected to help spin, Crawley might well have made the same choice.

No spin was needed during the 38.2 overs of Yorkshire's undoing. In damp, overcast conditions, swing was the destructive factor. Of five Yorkshire ducks, only Craig White did not suffer a first-baller.

It was mildly astonishing that no bowler managed a hat-trick, given that three of Lancashire's seam attack had the opportunity, twice in the case of 23-year-old Richard Green, whose exploitation of the conditions was particularly eye-catching. He returned figures of 4 for 21 from nine overs - his best in the Championship so far - all four coming in the space of eight deliveries, without a run conceded. After Richard Harden had edged to second slip, followed by an instant lbw verdict against Anthony McGrath, White and Gavin Hamilton were bowled one after the other by prodigious inswingers.

Glenn Chapple had already seen Matthew Wood edge a drive to third slip before dismissing Byas with his next ball. Later, Peter Martin had Richard Blakey caught at gully and then induced Ryan Sidebottom to give a bat- pad catch to forward short-leg. Martin's subsequent removal of Ian Fisher gave him the last three Yorkshire wickets in eight balls.

Hamilton then removed Mark Chilton and Crawley in his first four overs and Neil Fairbrother fell to Paul Hutchison as Lancashire stumbled to 22 for 3 yet statistical notes were not confined to the bowlers. Michael Vaughan, who took 144 minutes to make 14, needed 59 minutes to get off the mark, a Yorkshire record.

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