Lancashire put second place beyond Yorkshire

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Twenty-five hours after Surrey were confirmed as champions, Lancashire followed them home into second place by claiming a fifth bonus point, thus putting the £50,000 runners-up prize beyond Yorkshire's reach. That the Tykes were docked eight points for an unfair pitch is regarded here as proper retribution for past skulduggery. "God's in his heaven," they'll say in Ramsbottom.

Twenty-five hours after Surrey were confirmed as champions, Lancashire followed them home into second place by claiming a fifth bonus point, thus putting the £50,000 runners-up prize beyond Yorkshire's reach. That the Tykes were docked eight points for an unfair pitch is regarded here as proper retribution for past skulduggery. "God's in his heaven," they'll say in Ramsbottom.

What is not likely to happen is the planned demolition of the champions who, once again on a visit north, demonstrated the resilience and determination of their tail-enders.

At lunch, at 111 for 5, a follow-on was not impossible but a sterling two-hour innings from Gary Butcher, with Martin Bicknell his chief lieutenant, means that Lancashire's batsmen will have to start again against Saqlain and Ian Salisbury on a turning surface.

Neutrals have been able to watch England's two leg-spinners in direct opposition and Chris Schofield's performance will enliven the argument. In Pakistan there will be hawk-eyed, steel-wristed Pathans eager to destroy rusty modern English spinners. Salisbury is an admirable cricketer but we have surely seen all he has to offer; Schofield may yet have hidden depths.

Drizzle delayed the start by an hour, after which Adam Hollioake exacted some revenge for the blow below the belt on Wednesday by smiting nine boundaries in a 49 made off 39 balls. Mike Smethurst beat him with a fine delivery: fast, pitched up, breaking back late.

Ian Ward edged Glen Chapple's late swing, Ally Brown greeted Schofield's arrival with successive fours and then mis-timed to mid off. Jon Batty was confounded by one that leapt and turned, Salisbury by quick turn, Alex Tudor by an attempted top-spinner that turned into a long hop.

Butcher was finally tempted into a hook to long leg and Surrey's last pair was then given a 20-minute respite, costing five overs, because of the sun reflecting off the roof of the Broadcasting Centre at the Stretford End.

Bicknell then used his reach to muffle the spin and Saqlain is probably the best No 11 in county cricket,whacking Chapple with a cow-shot that sailed straight for six.

A further over was lost when the low sunlight reflected off vehicles in the car park. Manchester United could afford to have the sun moved but Lancashire have to wait for a shadow. Surrey's last five wickets have so far added 186, a recovery not hindered by the absence of the injured Peter Martin.

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