Yorkshire 209 (Kohler-Cadmore 105*, Onions 4-76) and 272 (Ballance 85, Kohler-Cadmore 63, Bailey 4-69) beat Lancashire 252 (Davies 87, Brooks 5-66) and 135 (Coad 5-24, Brook 4-47) by 95 runs
There were no interventions, either human or divine, to save Lancashire from their fate on the final day of the Roses match. Water stayed stubbornly aqueous, Lazarus remained stiff and the five thousand were last seen forming an orderly queue outside Subway. Liam Livingstone’s team needed a miracle to win this game and now they need another one if they are to avoid relegation. By contrast, all Yorkshire now require is a maximum of 18 points from two matches to achieve the same objective. Happy days are here again at Headingley; they have not been frequent visitors this season
At least matters were dealt with quickly. Unlike supporters of the home side at Worcester, Lancashire onlookers were not tortured by their hopes. Play had been in progress for just 40 minutes when Josh Bohannon drove Ben Coad to short midwicket where Tim Bresnan first parried the ball then took the catch which ended the match and started celebrations which were tinged as much by relief as joy.
Earlier in the morning Jack Brooks had knocked out Keshav Maharaj’s leg stump and Graham Onions’ off stump to finish the match with figures of nine for 113. His leaving present to his soon-to-be former team was well-chosen but the Yorkshire coach, Andrew Gale chose to focus on his team’s powers of recovery as he reflected on their first Roses double since 2001.
“There was a lot of pressure on us coming into the game and the first day didn’t go as planned,” he said. “I thought we showed a lot of character, togetherness, team spirit and belief to fight back in the fashion we did and to win by 90-odd runs in the end was a fantastic effort.
“We’ve now got a bit of confidence that hasn’t always been there this year and we’ve got to jump on the back of that and finish the season real strong. If we do, the results will look after themselves. But we’re not counting our chickens yet.”
Lancashire, by contrast, have few chickens to count and no chicken-house to put them in. They have not won a Roses match since 2011 and will almost certainly not have a chance to put that right until 2020. After Essex’s defeat of Nottinghamshire they cannot be relegated next week when both themselves and Notts are without a fixture but their chances of avoiding that fate in around a fortnight’s time are gossamer thin. They would need to beat Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in the final round of matches and hope that other results go their way “big style”, as they say in Bolton.
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas wrote Lucretius. “Happy the man who knows the causes (origins) of things.” Glen Chapple is surely aware of the causes of Lancashire’s plight this season but one doubts the knowledge brings him much happiness. Their campaign has been cursed by batting collapses and they have failed to earn a batting bonus point in six of their 13 games. When they have played well, as in the home games against Surrey and Somerset, they have failed to force a win. When they have had a bad session, they have invariably lost.
“We’ve got ourselves into a position in the table that was precarious through losing close games,” said Chapple. “This one is disappointing because we had such a good first day and played so well. Not to hammer that advantage home is frustrating. Yorkshire are used to the conditions here. They came back well and outplayed us on the second and third days. “The work ethic has been there and we’ve got good players. But too many have had poor seasons.”