Loye and Laxman put Lancashire in charge

Lancashire 489-5 Yorkshire 181 & 71-2
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The Independent Online

Mal Loye and VVS Laxman recorded hundreds to help Lancashire push for a Championship victory against Yorkshire at Old Trafford.

The pair shared a third-wicket partnership of 225 in 64 overs yesterday and were the mainstays of Lancashire's first innings total of 489 for five declared in reply to the visitors' 181 all out.

Lancashire declared with a lead of 308, allowing themselves a minimum of 121 overs to bowl the visitors out for victory. They managed 25 of them last night and restricted Yorkshire to 71 for two at the close.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed two of the three wickets to fall in the day. He bowled Loye in the 116th over and had Laxman caught at slip by Jacques Rudolph six overs later.

Loye hit a total of 18 fours and two sixes in his 234-ball stay at the crease. But, with Lancashire needing 15 runs off the 120th over to reach 400, Laxman opened up to clobber Rashid for the runs required. The 34-year-old hit 13 boundaries in 207 balls.

Ajmal Shahzad, who was tight along with Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan, got his reward when Francois du Plessis (18) was well caught by Joe Sayers at short cover in the 127th over.

That left Lancashire at 426 for five before Mark Chilton (38 not out) and captain Luke Sutton (30 not out) shared 63 before declaring.

Yorkshire then made a bad start to their second innings as Sajid Mahmood forced Joe Sayers to edge to Laxman at second slip in the fifth over and Tom Smith trapped Anthony McGrath lbw 10 overs later. Rudolph finished the day 33 not out and Andrew Gale reached 17. Yorkshire are still 237 runs behind.