Sun shines on upbeat Yorkshire

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Yorkshire 467 Lancashire 242 & 74-1

It was Farokh Engineer of Lancashire and India who declared, in a moment of frustration as the old enemy scuttled away from here in a downpour: "God is a Yorkshireman". The proposition has never aroused much argument on the east side of the Pennines and the sun certainly shone on the White Rose yesterday. While rain swept the rest of the country, Yorkshire bowled poorly and fielded ordinarily and still managed to force a follow-on.

If they can complete a double today while their rivals draw then it will indeed need something extraordinary to prevent them from taking their 32nd Championship and their first for 33 years. The pitch is wearing and, although Yorkshire's spin is purveyed by the 21-year-old Richard Dawson and the occasional Darren Lehmann, they may suffice.

From 358-2 Yorkshire progressed from a position of bloated impregnability to one of near dissipation. Craig White passed his previous career best by five before waving airily to be caught behind; Lehmann offered slip practice; the middle and tail was nibbled away by Gary Keedy's spin and it needed Chris Silverwood, with three sixes and three fours in 34 balls to give the innings the crescendo it needed, the declaration coming after another 95 minutes and 111 runs.

Silverwood will tell you that he does not know when he is bowling fast. "I only know whether I've got into rhythm," he says. He had that in his devastating burst against Warwickshire in the Norwich League late last month when he pulled a back muscle that put him out of the third Test.

Yesterday he had lost it again, overstepping and straying off line; his 10 overs, in two spells, cost 71 runs and if the selectors were watching, as they almost certainly were on Sky TV, then he may have bowled himself out of selection for Leeds next week.

He did, however, remove Lancashire's best, John Crawley, in both innings and without their captain and Mike Atherton, who is on England duty, a Lancashire innings can be shapeless. Andrew Flintoff threatened a big innings but the top five had gone for 106 in 21 overs when, not for the first time in this fixture, Warren Hegg began a resistance movement.

He eventually found a reliable ally in Glen Chapple, the the seventh-wicket pair adding 85 in 19 overs, Hegg playing expertly against spin and seam. Paul Hutchison, who is leaving Yorkshire, had little help for his left-arm swing in this clear air but he still looks a useful reinforcement for Lancashire, who will have noted this shop-window performance.

Hegg, watching his partners being diddled out by Lehmann, was eventually ninth out, surrendering with a skier to mid on, and Lancashire started all over again just before 5. 30, losing Crawley, flicking to square leg, in the fifth over.

Mark Chilton and Flintoff survived several appeals from the close field in some tense closing overs. Cardus might have deplored Lancashire's performance – they still need 151 to avoid an innings defeat – but he would have loved the cricket. This was a real Roses day.

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