After a day lost to the weather, the last thing Yorkshire needed to find standing between them and consolidation at the head of the First Division table was an unhelpful pitch and a determinedly resistant Lancashire.
The combination has enabled red to be the dominant colour at the midway point of the 250th Roses match, in which spectators have needed to be as stoical as the visiting batsmen as a chill wind had flags at full stretch.
Nothing is given away except grudgingly in these fixtures and for the most part that applied to both runs and wickets, save perhaps for Steven Croft's horribly hashed attempt to despatch a loosener from Adil Rashid. The three sessions yielded less than 100 runs each, which is a tribute to how effective Yorkshire's bowlers were in keeping up pressure on a day of only occasional reward.
Lancashire changed their batting line-up, dropping Luke Sutton back to seven after his three-match run as opener. The combination of Paul Horton and Stephen Moore performed solidly against the new ball, lasting more than an hour before Horton pushed at a ball from Oliver Hannon-Dalby and was caught at third slip.
Tino Best, wicketless, bore his frustrations visibly; Ajmal Shahzad, back in the fold after England duty in the Caribbean, looked at times as though he needed a good, long bowl but he removed Moore with a ball that might have beaten the batsman for pace even if it had not skidded through low.
Coming early in the second session, the wicket of Moore came as encouragement for the home attack but the pitch was offering little in the way of lateral movement and Lancashire had called right in electing to bat first. Yorkshire had to wait until three overs before tea for another breakthrough.
Now it was Rashid rewarded for persistence, the leg-spinner having bowled tidily without getting much to deviate. After 15 thankless overs, he found some bounce and enough turn to induce an edge from Mark Chilton, who had played some nice strokes in his 42. Jacques Rudolph took a one-handed catch at slip, ending a partnership of 81 in 27 overs.
It seemed there would be a send-off century from Ashwell Prince in his last match before leaving Lancashire to join South Africa in the West Indies. But that possibility ended when Steve Patterson induced a rare false shot, a off-balance jab off the back foot looping to short extra.
Croft was caught at mid-off attempting to smack a Rashid full toss over midwicket but with Tom Smith four away from a half-century Lancashire edged the day.Reuse content