Yorkshire v Lancashire (day two, close): Jack Brooks proves he has plenty left to give in Roses showdown
'PLENTY OF games left this year. I'm not ready for goodbyes yet. Fully intend finishing my @YorkshireCCC career on a high. Keeping our Div 1 status & performing for the team is my only focus for now. Humbling to receive many nice messages so thank you but I ain't done yet.'
So tweeted Yorkshire pace bowler Jack Brooks after his move to Somerset was announced a fortnight ago.
Brooks will head to Taunton at the end of the season on a three-year deal after Yorkshire were unwilling to match that length of contract.
Yorkshire were prepared to give two years and to consider a one-year extension in the middle of next season, depending on factors such as Brooks’s fitness.
It was easy to see both sides of the argument: Yorkshire did not want to commit to a three-year arrangement for a man who would be 37 by the time of its expiry, while Brooks - although he had no wish to leave - understandably gravitated towards the extra security.
Whatever one’s view on Brook’s departure, the man who was leading wicket-taker in both the 2014 and 2015 title-winning seasons has certainly been true to the sentiments expressed in his tweet.
He is indeed finishing his Yorkshire career on a high and proving that, although he may almost be done in a White Rose shirt, he “ain’t done yet”.
No sooner had Brooks’s move been announced than he took 5-116 against his new club at Headingley, and he followed that up with another five-wicket haul there today, his 5-66 from 17 overs dragging Yorkshire back into a game that they can ill-afford to lose in their battle to beat the drop.
With Lancashire 145-1 in reply to Yorkshire’s first innings 209, and threatening the sort of lead from which victory borders on formality, his wickets reduced the visitors to 175-6 either side of lunch before they were eventually dismissed for 252 and an advantage of 43.
The hosts reached 127-3 by stumps in their second innings, 84 ahead with Gary Ballance (53) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (42) adding an unbeaten 100 in 32 overs to propel their side to a state of parity that had seemed highly unlikely at the start of the day.
On the first day it had been Kohler-Cadmore who had effectively kept his team in the match, his unbeaten 105 ensuring that they inched above 200 before Lancashire reached 105-0 at the close.
That opening stand was broken from the first ball of day two, Karl Brown strangled down the leg-side by a loosener from Ben Coad after rain delayed the start by 15 minutes.
In rapidly improving conditions, with the sun in evidence for much of proceedings, fellow opener Alex Davies was soon adding to his overnight 57, leaning into a cover-driven boundary off Steve Patterson before cutting Coad to the backward-point rope.
Enter Brooks, who induced a rash stroke from Steven Croft when he cut to second slip, where Adam Lyth accepted a sharp opportunity.
Ballance dropped Liam Livingstone when he clipped Patterson to mid-wicket, but the Lancashire captain added only one more before being bowled by Brooks to leave his team 153-3.
That became 157-4 when Brooks pinned Dane Vilas for an 11-ball duck, which should have become 158-5 only for wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall to spill Josh Bohannon down the leg-side off Tim Bresnan.
Brooks captured his fourth wicket with the eighth ball after lunch when Davies was trapped aiming an on-drive for 87, compiled from 165 balls with 14 fours.
The 18th five-wicket haul of Brooks’s first-class career duly followed when Bohannon was also pinned in front, sparking joyous celebrations from “The Headband Warrior”, who wheeled away in trademark style.
Matt Waite chipped in with two wickets while conceding only 16 runs from 11 overs, having Tom Bailey caught behind and bowling Graham Onions swiping across the line.
Bresnan had Danny Lamb caught behind and after some useful hitting from Keshav Maharaj, who clubbed three leg-side sixes in an innings of 38 from 26 balls, Coad rounded things off by having Maharaj very well caught by Patterson running round from long-on towards the deep mid-wicket area.
Yorkshire had 12 overs to negotiate before tea and lost both openers in that time, Jeet Raval lbw propping forward to Bailey and Lyth caught behind playing forward to Onions.
Harry Brook was bowled from the fifth ball after tea by a delivery from Bailey that seemed to keep low, at which point Yorkshire were effectively minus 16-3, but Ballance and Kohler-Cadmore settled nerves and then some by drawing on all their reserves of fortitude and discipline.
Ballance defended solidly and seized on any scoring offering, such as when he punched successive balls off his pads from Richard Gleeson to the mid-wicket boundary.
Kohler-Cadmore also played handsomely through that area as he showed once again that he is so much more than a white-ball specialist.