Chilton's hundred puts Lancashire in Roses driving seat

Lancashire 379 & 291-5 Yorkshire 335
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The Independent Online

Whether or not Lancashire win this 240th Roses match, they can certainly claim a moral victory and with it a few memorable statistics to provide warming moments on cold February days. Iain Sutcliffe, born in Leeds, scored 153 and 52; Mark Chilton, born in Sheffield, scored 0 and 112 and for the first time in Roses history a pair of Yorkshiremen, in the second innings, raised a century opening stand against their native county.

Not much has gone right for the Yorkies in this match, but their deficiency in fire power, even with Matthew Hoggard available, has been exposed again on the placid surfaces. Lancashire now lead by 335. The timing of the declaration will be tricky for Yorkshire reached 404 in a last-day chase at Leicester.

Craig White and Tim Bresnan, resuming under heavy cloud, had two targets: to bat bonus points and to remove Lancashire's lead of 81. They reached 300 before James Anderson's consistent pace was rewarded with Bresnan's wicket, a catch behind.

Yorkshire's captain seemed in little difficulty and with Hoggard, now a tail-ender of some reputation, the innings perked up and scores might have been levelled had White not fallen for an old trick, a short pitched ball on middle and leg, duly lofted to the square leg boundary where Sutcliffe waited with, metaphorically, a bucket.

Deon Kruis and Hoggard were just spreading their wings when Anderson produced a faster ball to find Hoggard's edge. As Lancashire set off with a lead of 44, the sun, as if on schedule, reappeared for almost the first time since their first innings closed on Wednesday. Anderson's morning figures, the prize for sustained, accurate attack, were 6-2-12-3.

Chilton and Sutcliffe were as remorselessly Lancashire as any of their famed predecessors as they ground down the seam bowling through an afternoon of blue skies. They had reached 100 in 36 overs, the only minor restraint being Richard Dawson's off-spin, containing but not penetrative (both lifted him straight for six) before the left-hander was trapped in front, on his back foot. Another 33 overs, bringing another 113 runs, passed before Mal Loye mis-drove and skied to mid-on.

This was the start of minor pandemonium as the ball was changed three times in 29 minutes. Brad Hodge departed, bridling at an lbw decision, to be followed almost immediately by his captain, unhappy at being bowled.

Hoggard, by taking three wickets in 14 deliveries (with three different balls) for two runs, edged Yorkshire back into contention.