Yorkshire regain momentum Demiy / 2

Yorkshire 305 for 5 v Lancashire
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The Independent Online
Tradition has it that Roses matches are, to use the vernacular, nowt to do with anyone else. However, the outside world is watching this one with much interest to see if Yorkshire can regain their momentum after a series of setbacks and if Lancashire can do something about another season of under- achievement in the Championship.

The puffs of dust emerging from a pitch so dry and cracked that it could have been specially imported from one of Yorkshire Water's reservoirs suggested it was important for Yorkshire's batsmen to make the most of winning the toss and, up to a point, they did.

Apart from the unlucky Anthony McGrath they all made runs, even if some got themselves out when they were in, and David Byas will want the innings to grind relentlessly on this morning in the knowledge that batting will become increasingly less straightforward.

Lancashire have won only one Championship game and that was against Durham. Only once before, in 1984, have they ended a season with a solitary win. One-day trophies are all very well but it does not take much to upset some members on the other side of the Pennines and by all accounts the natives are getting restless again.

They would not have been over-impressed with the way Lancashire used the new ball. The pitch may have looked greenish to the distant eye, but on a sunny morning there was no movement and therefore no margin for error; Martyn Moxon and Michael Vaughan wisely filled their boots while they could.

Lancashire left out the estimable Ian Austin for the second successive game. Like all good professionals, Austin was less than happy at this but his omission gave Richard Green, 20, only his third Championship game and his whole-hearted bowling was a considerable plus for Lancashire on a difficult day.

It was no mean achievement to hit the splice or induce a hurried stroke on this pitch, but Green managed it. And after Gary Keedy, bowling accurately and mostly round the wicket, had induced errors from the openers, Green got his rewards in two successive overs. First Byas, aiming to whip him through midwicket, skewered a catch to cover off a leading edge. Then McGrath, working hard to rediscover a semblance of form, was undone by low bounce, but Craig White, having taken 26 balls to get off the mark, gradually gave Yorkshire something to build on today.