Roses game ends in tie as Yorkshire are denied victory by Lancashire

 

In a nail biting final over Yorkshire tied their Friends Life t20 game with Lancashire in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000 at Headingley.

Steven Croft hit the last ball for two when three were required for a Red Rose victory.

The tie brought Yorkshire their first point in the competition after three matches and it ended a Lancashire run of two consecutive defeats.

Put in to bat on a glorious evening, Yorkshire totalled 152 for six in a game which was keenly contested throughout.

Lancashire seemed favourites following an opening stand of 46 in five overs between Stephen Moore and Tom Smith but man-of-the-match Richard Pyrah hit back with three crucial wickets at a cost of 15 runs and the last over arrived with 10 still required and Ryan Sidebottom bowling to Croft and Kabir Ali.

Ali scrambled a single off the first ball and Croft edged the second just wide of wicketkeeper Andy Hodd's right hand for a boundary before failing to score off the next.

A leg-bye followed and Kabir ran another single to leave Croft on strike for the final delivery in mounting tension. He played it through point towards the boundary and the pair ran two but a third was never on.

Both sides made bright starts to their innings, skipper Andrew Gale and Phil Jaques dashing up 32 in five overs for Yorkshire before Gale chased a wide ball from Smith and was caught behind by Gareth Cross.

Batsmen then struggled to make any real impact, apart from Jaques, the Australian batting through the overs for 66 from 57 deliveries with six fours and a six which did not come until the 20th over when he struck Kabir Ali over midwicket.

The brake was mainly put on Yorkshire by spinners Stephen Parry and Arron Lilley who conceded only 21 and 22 respectively while each picking up a wicket, Parry causing Dean Hodgson to spoon a catch to Simon Katich and Lilley trapping Adil Rashid lbw.

It was in the fourth over of the Lancashire reply that Smith appeared to put Lancashire in a commanding position by thrashing 24 off Jack Brooks who in Yorkshire's two previous games had collected six wickets at a cost of only 34 runs.

Smith began with a stinging straight driven boundary and four off the back-foot through mid-on. He ran two after aiming just wide of Gary Ballance at mid on and followed up with 4-6-4.

Liam Plunkett broke the stand when Moore gave an easy catch to Ballance at mid-on and Pyrah began his successful stint with the wicket of Smith who was brilliantly caught low at mid-off by Plunkett for 35 from 20 balls with five fours and a six.

Pyrah clean bowled Katich and Keith Brown when both were just beginning to look dangerous to leave Lancashire on 97 for four and it became 118 for five in the 17th over as Cross played a dipping full toss from Plunkett into his stumps, the umpires ruling that the ball was not above waist high.

Croft and Kabir Ali were made to scrap for every run but they seemed to have taken control again when 24 were required from two overs and the expensive Brooks conceded 14, so setting up the frenzied finish.

PA

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