All-rounder Tom Smith took five wickets as Lancashire claimed the upper hand on the third day of their Roses meeting against Yorkshire in LV= County Championship Division One.
Smith’s five for 49 helped Lancashire bowl their rivals out for 243 – with Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale, pictured right, left stranded on 95 not out – and claim a first-innings lead of 82 at Headingley.
Yorkshire responded to reduce Lancashire to 48 for three in their second innings – 130 ahead – but with bad light ending play early, time could be running out to force a result.
The day was also notable for a number of other occurrences. First former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff warmed up with Lancashire before the start of play, further fuelling speculation that he could be planning a comeback in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Then, during the Yorkshire innings, Gale was recalled after being given out early in his innings. Gale appeared to have been caught behind for 25 after attempting a glance off Glen Chapple’s bowling and was clearly unhappy to see umpire Peter Willey’s finger raised.
Yet, even though Gale had started to walk back to the pavilion, Willey decided to consult with square leg umpire Ian Gould and the decision was reversed. In further activity away from the action, Yorkshire formally unveiled new signing Aaron Finch at a press conference.
Yorkshire started the day steadily, with openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees taking their overnight stand to 66 before Smith began to make inroads.
Smith struck three times in 16 balls, first removing Lees, quickly accounting for Kane Williamson and then seeing off Lyth after a 97-ball 50.
Jonny Bairstow added 39 with Gale before falling lbw to Kyle Hogg.
Adil Rashid failed to offer prolonged support as he nicked a wide delivery from Smith behind and Andy Hodd, Tim Bresnan and Liam Plunkett soon followed.
Ryan Sidebottom did offer some resistance, occupying 44 balls as he eked out nine runs, but he eventually fell to Simon Kerrigan and Jack Brooks’ duck left Gale short of three figures.
Lancashire did not convince in their second innings as Bresnan struck twice in one over to dismiss Paul Horton and Karl Brown on his way to figures of three for nine.
Luis Reece – dropped earlier by Bresnan himself – became the England international’s third victim before the close.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Gordon Muchall made an unbeaten 158 for Durham at Nottingham, but, due to the rain, it was unlikely to be in a winning cause, with his side closing on 335 for four in their first innings, 42 runs behind.
William Porterfield made 118 and Ian Westwood 99 as Warwickshire battled back against Somerset, but a draw was also likely at Edgbaston.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes made 61 on his return from a wrist injury, while his international colleague Stuart Broad got further bowling time under his belt on his return from patella tendonitis.
Yorkshire 243 all out; Lancashire 325 all out and 48-3.