THE ghosts of Yorkshire’s Lord Hawke and Lees Whitehead were twitching uneasily at Old Trafford yesterday.
Lancashire’s Jordan Clark and Kyle Jarvis came within two runs of beating their record for the highest 10th-wicket stand in Roses cricket – 108 set on this ground in 1903.
Clark and Jarvis’s stand of 107 from 23.2 overs was a record for Lancashire in this fixture, surpassing the 82 shared by Ian Austin and Peter Martin at Scarborough in 1991.
It helped Lancashire recover from 299-7 overnight to 494, Yorkshire replying with 136-2 at stumps on day two.
Clark hit an unbeaten 84 from 105 balls with eight fours and a six, and Jarvis made 57 from 92 balls with four fours and two sixes.
Both were career-best scores, fashioned during a morning session in which Lancashire leathered 195 in 37.2 overs.
The mayhem began with an eighth-wicket stand of 87 in 13.1 overs between Clark and Arron Lilley after play resumed in cloudy conditions.
It materialised from nowhere, with Lancashire having stumbled from 238-1 on day one to the extent that Yorkshire started day two optimistic of dismissing them for not much more than 300.
As it was, they were taken to the cleaners in a manner not unlike the way in which Middlesex’s tail wagged against them at Scarborough last month.
On that occasion, Middlesex mowed 107 in 9.4 overs on the final morning as the ninth-wicket pair of Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh ran riot.
Yesterday, Clark and Lilley added 75 in the first 9.4 overs of the day before Clark and Jarvis added insult to injury with their 10th-wicket stand.
Lancashire, remarkably, came within 13 runs of a fifth and final batting point having needed a seemingly notional 101 to get there at the start of the day from 14.2 overs with three wickets left. It amounted to much frustration for the Yorkshire camp and first-team coach Jason Gillespie.
“It was disappointing, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“Full credit to Lancashire: they came out and played nice and positively, but you can’t help but feel we allowed them to do that a little bit.
“We didn’t adapt quickly enough to their positivity, and hopefully we can learn from that.”
It was not that Yorkshire bowled really poorly; far from it.
They were not at their best, certainly, but they did not have the best of luck either as Ryan Sidebottom, in particular, drew several streaky edges.
At the same time, Lancashire deserved their fortune for bravely carrying the fight to the champions.
Whether it proves enough for them to engineer victory on a good batting pitch, however, is a different matter, with Yorkshire having made useful strides towards the follow-on target of 345, Alex Lees (62) and Andrew Gale (36) having shared an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 81.
The nature of the pitch was emphasised by the way in which Lancashire’s lower-order rallied.
Boundaries came thick and fast as Clark and Lilley set the tone, seizing on anything slightly off line.
Clark, who started the day with four to his name, had a life on 20 when he was dropped by Tim Bresnan off Ryan Sidebottom.
The ball went quickly to first slip, where it burst through Bresnan’s hands and disappeared to the boundary.
Adil Rashid took some tap, Lilley dancing down the track to loft him for a straight four towards the old pavilion and then repeating the feat next ball as the 50 stand for the eighth wicket was compiled in the first 20 minutes of play.
Finally, the eighth wicket fell after 55 minutes when Lilley tried to uppercut Steve Patterson and was caught behind by Andrew Hodd.
The off-spinner made 45 from 39 balls with eight fours, and the ninth wicket fell in the next over, the 110th of the innings, when Bresnan trapped Nathan Buck lbw to give Yorkshire a third and final bowling point with two balls to spare.
Clark went to his half-century from 66 balls with six fours and received free-swinging support from last man Jarvis, who got going with a straight six off Bresnan.
In an eye-blink, or so it seemed, Jarvis had fifty in the bank, reaching the milestone with another straight six, this time off Rashid, who finally got him lbw 25 minutes after the scheduled lunch break, which had been delayed because nine wickets had fallen.
When Yorkshire replied, Adam Lyth played across a full-length ball from Jarvis and was lbw, while Jack Leaning was caught at first slip by Liam Livingstone off Tom Smith as he pushed forward.
From 55-2, Lees and Gale negotiated the final 42 overs with skill and sense, the left-handers drawing the sting from the attack and much of the spring from Lancashire’s step.