His shadow lolling out to the right, a white flannel tucked into the waistband of his trousers and his cropped hair gleaming in the sun, Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson ripped a ball into the rough. Out it fizzed, and Adam Lyth guided the ball off his hip and into the waiting hands of Luke Wells at leg slip. The first “Oh Lanky Lanky” since 2019 trilled over Old Trafford as Lyth stalked towards the dressing room.
Seven overs later, the penultimate of the day, Saqib Mahmood hurtled in off his long, long run and pinned Tom Kohler-Cadmore in front of the stumps. Mahmood punched the air while Kohler-Cadmore slumped back off, followed shortly afterwards by a clatter that sounded very much like a bat being thumped repeatedly against a wall.
Their frustration was understandable: Kohler-Cadmore and Lyth had batted for 38 of the 47 overs Yorkshire had to survive in the day, risking sending the masses into a stupor with their dedication and application to the task at hand: batting for the rest of Saturday and the whole of Sunday. They so nearly did it.
It was Josh Bohannon, with the help of Danny Lamb, who had set Lancashire up for the kill, moving to the second Championship century of his career and his first Roses hundred slow-quick-slow – which was just what was needed. Wickets came as Lancashire upped the ante before the declaration, but by then the lead was 350.
Yorkshire’s woes won’t have been helped by Northamptonshire’s progress down at Hove. With a win in touching distance, they will leapfrog Yorkshire to second place in Division Two. Despite a game second innings by Sussex, which included a hundred by Tom Haines and 95 for Ben Brown as well as five wickets for Simon Kerrigan, Northants were set just 218 to win. By stumps, they needed only 87 more with eight wickets in hand.
Essex beat Durham by 195 runs in an lbw-fest at The Riverside after Peter Siddle and Jamie Porter made mincemeat of their middle and late order. Durham lost five for 38 as the sun slipped down the sky, Alex Lees working hard for his 48. When Jack Burnham became the 19th player to be given out lbw, it was a record in an English first-class match.
Daniel Moriarty took his fourth five-wicket haul of his short first-class career, bowling Gloucestershire into a hole at The Oval. The Surrey bowler took six for 60, and Amar Virdi three for 46, in the first innings, as Gloucestershire were bundled out for 158, with only Miles Hammond in a four-hour 77 providing any bulk to the batting.
Following on, meanwhile, Hammond found himself at the crease sooner than he might have hoped and was unbeaten again on 38 at the close, but Gloucester are still 191 behind with just five wickets left.
Career-best bowling from Dillon Pennington gave Worcestershire the upper hand at New Road. Pennington snaffled four for 44 in the first innings then three for 25 in the next as Derbyshire were invited to follow on and crumbled.
Leicestershire need an unlikely 303 to win against Middlesex on a turning pitch. Chris Wright had whistled through Middlesex earlier with six for 48.
An intriguing final last day lies in wait at Edgbaston as Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire went nose to nose. Fifties for Michael Burgess and Will Rhodes inched Warwickshire to a lead of 245 by stumps.