Lancashire will wish Mohammad Yousuf was at the beginning rather than the end of his brief attachment to the county after watching his progress towards a double hundred here this afternoon.
The sublimely gifted Pakistan batsman is in his last appearance before joining up with his national squad and to say that he has saved his best until the end would be putting it mildly. His best score in eight previous innings was 40 and he averaged 15. Yorkshire will not care to be reminded that in the over after he began this epic - on Saturday afternoon - he was dropped on one by Anthony McGrath at slip.
By tea today he had added 176, although in terms of the match it will not count for a great deal. A draw has been inevitable since the umpires abandoned yesterday's play without a ball bowled. Should Lancashire end up winning the title by three bonus points, however, his name might be mentioned in the toasts. His unbroken partnership with all-rounder Steven Croft, who has a career-best 84 under his belt, has turned two batting points into five.
On a placid pitch, it has been tough for Yorkshire, with neither Darren Gough nor McGrath on the field. It has left Rich Pyrah, in his first Championship match for three years, and 19-year-old Ben Sanderson with a lot of overs to bowl.
The plus for Yorkshire has been the bowling of their leg-spinner Adil Rashid, whose figures may appear to be nothing to write home about but who has bowled tightly throughout a marathon spell and deserved more luck.Reuse content