Cricket: Lancs must thank Lloyd

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 289 and 298 Lancashire 482 and 106-4

Lancashire won by 6 wkts

Lancashire needed only the morning session to complete their anticipated victory in the Roses friendly, winning by six wickets after knocking off the 106 runs required in precisely even time.

It was the first success by Lancashire in five of these games, which were added to the fixture calendar after changes in the Championship format restricted the traditional rivals to one confrontation per season outside the limited overs competitions.

Whether it means much remains to be seen. Lancashire were without seven of the players who would constitute a full-strength team, while Yorkshire could describe only three of their line-up as first-choice selections. None the less, many of the participants can expect to play some part in what is expected to be a season of achievement on both sides of the Pennines, during which both counties are likely to depend upon strength and depth to cope with Test calls.

Lancashire's success here was built around Graham Lloyd's extraordinary performance on the second day, when he struck 225 off 151 balls to turn the game on its head after Yorkshire's youthful side had begun to fancy their chances. Lloyd's six count reached double figures in a display to compare with his 241 at Chelmsford last year, when he cleared the boundary 12 times.

But Dav Whatmore, their new Australian coach who masterminded Sri Lanka's World Cup victory, will also have been encouraged by a demonstration of the pace bowler Peter Martin's well-being and the promise shown against the new ball by the fledgling opener Paddy McKeown, a 20-year-old from Merseyside playing in only his third first-class match. With Wasim Akram coming back, it is within Lancashire's capability to retain both their knock-out trophies but they crave a Championship, which they have not won outright since 1934.

McKeown's confident start ensured there would be no alarms yesterday morning as Lancashire pursued the target left when Yorkshire were bowled out for 298 on Friday evening, later than expected following the reserve wicketkeeper Colin Chapman's four-and-a-half-hour resistance, which brought the unheralded understudy a career best 80.

The Red Rose might have triumphed in more comfort still but for a lively spell by the seam bowler Alex Wharf, who claimed two for 37 in 10 overs, twice uprooting the off stump to remove first McKeown and then Lloyd.

Wharf, 21, is another from the impressive production line of talent created by Yorkshire's wise establishment of their cricket academy. The progress of Wharf and Alex Hamilton could be vital to Yorkshire's growing ambitions if Chris Silverwood and Craig White as well as Darren Gough have to serve England. This match also unveiled a promising batting graduate in the 20-year-old opener Matthew Wood, while confirming that the underemployed abilities of Chapman and Bradley Parker may have some mileage too.

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