Lloyd batters rookies

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 289 and 34-1 Lancashire 482

On balance it was not a good day for Yorkshire, who lost their chosen overseas player, announced an immediate replacement, but then saw their rookie bowlers suffer a fearful battering at the hands of greedy Lancashire batsmen, led by Graham Lloyd's merciless 225.

Darren Lehmann filled the gap created by Michael Slater's selection for the Australian Ashes party. A 27-year-old left -handed batsman from South Australia, Lehmann has not fulfiled the promise of his early years but may make an impact in county cricket none the less.

A Sheffield Shield debutant at 17, he was named in an Australian Test side 12 two days before his 20th birthday. The international career did not happen but he remains one of his country's most consistent run-scorers in domestic cricket.

His 7,656 runs in the Shield with South Australia and Victoria have been made at an average of 51.73, including 960 at 53.33 in first-class games this season, batting mostly at No 3. He made a career-best 255 for South Australia.

Yorkshire had approached Lehmann on a just-in-case basis and their cricket chairman, Bob Platt, said: "I'm confident that we have secured a player who will give us excellent service. Lehmann is an aggressive run- maker and also has a reputation as a good catcher at slip."

He will make his debut against Lancashire in the Benson and Hedges Cup at Old Trafford on 28 April.

Yorkshire's young bowlers had a chance to draw attention to themselves here yesterday but did not enjoy the experience as Lancashire overturned the home county's advantage in the first-class Roses friendly, ending the day with a lead of 159.

One wicket down overnight, Lancashire soon slipped to 111 for 5, a long way adrift of Yorkshire's first-innings total.

The slide was arrested when Mike Watkinson struck a bold 45 off 34 balls and this innings proved the catalyst for a dramatic change in the contest.

As an attack including five bowlers with an average age of 21 began to suffer for their greenness on an unhelpful pitch, the partnership of Lloyd and Ian Austin took advantage, adding 248 runs in only 31 overs, a seventh- wicket record both for Lancashire and by any side against Yorkshire.

Austin hit 17 fours but was eclipsed by Lloyd's extraordinary approach, which took him to 101 off 76 balls, 152 off 104 and 200 off 130 before he fell to 151st delivery he faced.

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