One million pounds was spent in the bars here during the five tumultuous days of the third Test Match. Lancashire are entitled to a slight air of intoxication; the danger that the county club would be driven to Manchester's Eastlands or Wigan is surely gone forever. England's team have cemented Lancashire's team into Old Trafford.
The 241st Roses match, a fixture once described by David Lloyd, then Lancashire's captain, as a "sort of mini-Test but much more serious" attracted 3,000 spectators, a good crowd considering that half the ground was closed, resembling London after the Lord Mayor's Show, all dust carts, cranes and removal vans.
Yorkshire had the better of the morning on a lively pitch, Matthew Wood caning wayward bowling through an arc from point to third man .
Like more celebrated left-handers, Joe Sayers is struggling against bowling slanted across him, but as learners go, he is greased lightning. By lunchtime the cloud began to lift, the wind dropped, the temperature rose and Lancashire's seamers found life much more enjoyable as the ball swung. Both Anthony McGrath and Phil Jaques were the victims of unexpected late swing and when Wood, smacking yet another loose, wide ball from James Anderson, was picked off by Andrew Symonds, at deep point, an innings of substance looked flaky.
Michael Lumb, flowing against the quicks, was constricted when Gary Keedy came into his kingdom after tea and had his torment ended when he was bowled around his legs. Yet, with Keedy resting, Craig White and Ishmael Dawood picked up a bonus point before Marcus North defeated Dawood with his arm ball.
Lancashire are an oddball team, a firecracker that produces brilliant explosions amid periods of damp darkness; it may have something to do with the large number of Manchester City followers among their members. The captain White saw off both spinners and greeted the return of seam, and the new ball with pleasure, wading into Dominic Cork, on the day Lancashire's best bowler.
The indications are that this surface will turn increasingly and Lancashire outnumber Yorkshire in spinners 3-1. The most heartening sight , for the many traditionalists present, was the of army of boys, of all sizes, who flocked on the outfield to play cricket during the intervals. Despite binge drinking, Big Brother, Eminem rapping and Russian money, the game flourishes.Reuse content