|Ground:||Old Trafford, Manchester|
|Scorecard:||Lancashire v Yorkshire|
|Player:||AU Rashid, Azeem Rafiq|
|Event:||LV County Championship 2010|
The pendulum oscillated slowly on the second day of the Roses match. First it went Yorkshire's way, as unexpected tail-end resistance took their innings beyond lunch and well past 400. The Lancashire opening batsmen fought back with a good stand, but then the two Yorkshire spinners Adil Rashid and Azeem Rafiq struck back, making deep inroads into the Lancashire batting to leave them groping at 187 for six wickets at the close of play.
The morning's play was more like traditional Roses cricket than any of the first day's had been. The first twenty minutes were lost due to early morning drizzle, and the Lancashire seam bowlers found some early movement. However, the luck still favoured Yorkshire, as Richard Pyrah and Steven Patterson played and missed frequently enough, but without ever finding a fatal edge. To their credit, the batsmen did not panic, but knuckled down to their task, which was clearly to stay in as long as possible.
After 55 minutes and 39 runs, Pyrah, on 32, attempted a quick single into the covers, only for Steven Croft to swoop on the ball and throw down the stumps at the bowler's end to run him out. But the last wicket contrived to frustrate Lancashire further, and at lunch Patterson and Oliver Hannon-Dalby were still there with the total on 442 for nine. Only one wicket and that a run-out, had fallen during the morning for 63 runs. Ten minutes after the break, though, Patterson got a top edge trying to hook Kyle Hogg and holed out to deep backward square leg for 27, leaving Hannon-Dalby unbeaten with 11, his highest first class score. The total was 447, with Glen Chapple returning the best figures of four for 75 off 31 overs. Next best bowler was Tom Smith, two for 80, while Daren Powell also took two wickets.
When Lancashire batted Tino Best was definitely fast but not always accurate: his first ball strayed to leg and beat the keeper for four byes. At the other end Patterson too leaked runs and the Lancashire openers, Paul Horton and Stephen Moore, were able to keep the board ticking over busily at more than five an over. There were plenty of wide deliveries to hit and overpitched balls to drive, and again the pitch made batting easy against bowling below the highest class. Hannon-Dalby began with two maidens and found good bounce, but then Moores got stuck into him, pulling the short deliveries ruthlessly. They batted so confidently that any total looked possible but, just before tea, Moores (40) drove a comfortable return catch to Adil Rashid after an opening partnership of 94. Lancashire went in to tea on 101 for one, blissfully aware of the drama still to come.
Horton went on to reach his 50 off 95 balls, but when he reached 63 he also fell to Rashid, a pad-bat lbw decision that had him hanging around reluctantly at the crease after being given out by umpire David Millns. The leg-spinner struck again when Mark Chilton, with 6, jabbed at a superb delivery that turned and bounced, resulting in a catch at slip. Lancashire were now 143 for three, and Rashid had brought them back into the picture. At the other end Tino Best, perhaps jealous of the spinner's success, took on the role of pantomime villain, bouncing and sledging the batsmen, displaying exaggerated aggression and generally antagonizing the crowd but all to no avail.
Another spinner of Asian ancestry, Azeem Rafiq, struck next when Croft (16) cut him uppishly, only for Jacques Rudolph at slip, anticipating superbly, to take the catch; 169 for four. Just before the close Rafiq also seized the prize wicket of Simon Katich, caught at short leg off bat and pad for 32; and Lancashire were now 175 for five. Simon Kerrigan came in as night-watchman, but did not survive; Rafiq bowled him all ends up with his arm ball without scoring. He had now taken three wickets for six runs in just 22 balls. Tom Smith made a few defiant hits, refusing to allow Yorkshire total dominance, but the visiting fielders surrounded the bat and were all on the attack as the day drew to its tense close. The visitors marched off with heads high, and will now go into the third day with high hopes of their first Roses victory since 2002. Finishing a job well begun, though, has at times proved a problem for them in recent years.