Lancashire 417-9 dec v Yorkshire: Century for Law keeps Yorkshire on back foot

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The Independent Online

Yorkshire's excitement at recording a first victory in 22 matches last weekend already has the look of merely fleeting joy. The arrival of rain in mid-afternoon limited spectators to half rations for a second day but Lancashire have piled up runs so briskly that they are in a commanding position despite the time lost.

Craig White's frustration deepens. Yorkshire's captain has won all five coin tosses in the Championship season to date but may struggle to remember much else going right. Since the opening fixture - wrecked by the weather - he has chosen to bat twice and to bowl twice, in no instance controversially, and by varying degrees has been let down by his players each time.

Here the bowlers are carrying the can, feeding Lancashire such an appetising diet of sub-standard deliveries that they were able to clinch a full hand of batting points in the 106th over before declaring soon after the weather forced the suspension of play at 3.27pm.

Even Jason Gillespie looked better than average only now and again. In terms of workload, he earned his money but until Glen Chapple lobbed a Gillespie delivery to mid-off 40 minutes after lunch yesterday the wicket donated by Iain Sutcliffe on Tuesday was his only return. So far the Australian's eight wickets in five games for Yorkshire have cost 56.75 each.

Lancashire struggled only against the second new ball, contending then with swing and seam movement.

Chapple's was one of four wickets lost for 31 runs in 12 overs. Deon Kruis trapped Luke Sutton in front four short of a half-century then Tim Bresnan picked up Kyle Hogg, caught behind off a thinly top-edged hook, and Dominic Cork, who pulled straight to mid-wicket.

But by then Lancashire's total was formidable, the morning session having added 140 to the total. Mal Loye extended his overnight 113 to 138 before pulling Bresnan to long leg, his partnership with Stuart Law worth 206, beating by four a record set by Len Hopwood and Clifford Hawkwood in 1933 as Lancashire's highest fourth-wicket stand in a Roses match.

Law scored his second century of the season - his 17th for Lancashire - and while he was out to the next ball, Sutton and Chapple maintained the high scoring rate, although Sutton was dropped on one and 20.

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