County Championship: Yorkshire fight back with ball in Roses match

Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings is the first player in cricket history to make four successive Roses match centuries
Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings is the first player in cricket history to make four successive Roses match centuries
LV= County Championship Division One, Emirates Old Trafford (day one):
Lancashire 272-8: Jennings 119, Wells 84; Hill 6-26
Yorkshire: Yet to bat
Lancashire 2 pts, Yorkshire 2 pts
Scorecard

Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings made history with the bat before a brilliant spell of bowling from Yorkshire’s George Hill made for a fascinating first day of the Roses match.

Jennings hit 119 as he become the first batter to score four hundreds in four consecutive innings in this famous fixture, as he put on 180 for the first wicket with Luke Wells, who made 84.

But Jennings’ dismissal sparked a Lancashire collapse as Hill took the first five-wicket haul of his career.

Hill finished with 6-26 off 16 overs, including a burst of 5-5 as Lancashire slumped from 231-1 to 251-6 before eventually limping to 272-8 at the close.

It was incredible how ball dominated bat in the final session as for the first two sessions, the Red Rose made serene progress after captain Dane Vilas had won the toss.

Starting this game 34 points behind leaders Surrey, Lancashire know they must realistically win all three remaining games if they are to overhaul the South London side and Hampshire to win the title.

That meant putting a big score on the board and it was a surprise when Wells was out just before tea when a century had appeared his for the taking when he was caught in the deep off Hill.

But there was no stopping Jennings. He brought up his century off 220 balls to become the first player in this fixture to hit centuries in four straight innings, surpassing Lancashire duo Herbert Sutcliffe and Geoff Pullar, who had both recorded three in a row.

After previous scores of 238, 132 and 114 in Roses innings and a career-best 318 against Somerset in July, Yorkshire must have feared the worst as the opener was just starting to motor before Hill produced the ball of the day to clip the batter’s off-stump.

The Yorkshire opener, only thrown the ball as sixth choice by new White Rose skipper Jonny Tattersall, was then inspired in bowling from the James Anderson end.

He ripped through the middle order with Tom Kohler-Cadmore taking three catches at slip as Hill found the ideal line and length under cloudy skies and with the floodlights on.

When George Balderson was the sixth man to go, Hill had bowled a spell of 5-5 in 41 balls, including a double wicket-maiden.

Ben Coad then took two wickets in successive balls just before the close as the visitors ended the day in the ascendancy, with Lancashire’s hopes of a big first innings score and a maximum batting five points all but over.

Lancashire centurion Keaton Jennings:

“I didn’t feel overly fluent at any point, but myself and Wellsy got stuck into a nice partnership, which grew and grew. It was nice batting with my fellow giraffe!

“We started the day off nicely, and it’s a little bit disappointing to finish off in the position we’re in. But we’ve got 278 on the board.

“The new ball which came out after the other one got wet was quite a bit newer. You saw it kick and zip off the surface.

“It still had gold writing on it. It’s no stab at the umpires. It was the oldest one left in the box. That’s just the way it is. We went from a 72-over old ball to a fairly new one at a time when we were going nicely.”

Yorkshire seamer George Hill:

“I haven’t bowled for a while, so when Tatts chucked me the ball I was happy to be back bowling and just enjoyed it. When the second ball came along, it was a lot harder.

“My role usually is to try and make it as dry as possible and hit one area as consistently as I can. It was just that the odd one nibbled enough. I felt in good rhythm – and the key was to run in and hit the same area.

“I said to Tatts after my second or third wicket, ‘Get me off and put the strike bowlers on’. But, thankfully, he kept me on.

“Our main concern was keeping that run-rate below three an over and controlling the rate. But we’re very happy with the way it’s happened. If we can bowl them out for 320, we’ll be well in the game.