County round-up: Angry Anderson crosses the line as Lancashire win Roses thriller

Jon Culley
Sunday 23 October 2011 09:02

Lancashire pulled off a spectacular victory in the Roses match against Yorkshire to return to the top of the County Championship after a gripping final day at Aigburth.

But England's James Anderson could have landed himself in trouble with the England and Wales Cricket Board after Yorkshire took exception to his conduct towards batsman Joe Sayers. He repeatedly bowled short to the opener and was involved in a number of verbal exchanges, prompting umpire Neil Bainton to ask him to calm down.

Yorkshire's director of cricket Martyn Moxon thought Anderson went too far. "I appreciate that fast bowlers can be aggressive but I thought he crossed the line with his behaviour," he said.

Lancashire's coach Peter Moores defended his man, saying: "Jimmy plays it hard but he leaves it on the field and to be fair to him Joe Sayers and Andrew Gale got stuck in as well."

If the umpires decide Anderson has breached the ECB disciplinary code on behaviour towards another player he could receive a three-point penalty that would remain on his record for two years. Players who accumulate nine points within the two-year period face automatic suspension.

Yorkshire were still 57 in arrears overnight and Sayers defied the pain of a foot injury to bat for almost four hours for his 75. There were also half-centuries from the captain Gale, Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid.

Despite superb bowling from the veteran spinner Gary Keedy, whose 6 for 133 were his best figures in Roses matches, they thought they had done enough to escape with a draw after tailenders Steve Patterson and Oliver Hannon-Dalby had kept Lancashire in the field for almost an hour for the last wicket.

When it came, only 15 overs were left for Lancashire to chase 121 to win but thanks largely to 28 in 19 balls from Steven Croft and 31 from 19 from Sri Lanka all-rounder Farveez Maharoof they pulled it off with four balls to spare to win by six wickets.

Rashid had taken two wickets in two balls in his first over but then conceded sixes off Croft and Gareth Cross in his next. Ryan Sidebottom conceded 12 in one over, including five wides, and was hit for straight sixes by Croft and Maharoof. The latter dispensed the same treatment to Rashid before running two off the next attempted maximum to win the match and take Lancashire five points ahead of Durham and Warwickshire.

Durham's victory over Worcestershire at New Road looked ominous for their title hopes. The champions of 2008 and 2009 took just an hour to pull off an innings victory, Steve Harmison returning from injury to take seven wickets in the match.

Warwickshire would lead the table but for their eight-point deduction for a poor pitch against Worcestershire. Durham go to Edgbaston this week with the hosts missing Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott on England duty.

Sussex completed an eight-wicket victory inside an hour against Somerset at Hove.

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