Maharoof wins Roses match for Lancashire at Aigburth

LV County Championship Division One, Liverpool
Lancashire 329 & 121-4 beat Yorkshire 141 & 308 by 6 wkts
Lancs 22pts, Yorks 2pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
Farveez Maharoof
Sri Lankan all-rounder Maharoof first signed for Lancashire in March

Big-hitting Sri Lankan Farveez Maharoof was the hero as Lancashire pulled off a dramatic six-wicket Roses match victory against Yorkshire at Aigburth.

After finally bowling out the Tykes for 308, Yorkshire old boy Gary Keedy taking 6-133, Lancashire were set an unlikely 121 to win in 15 overs.

But Maharoof kept his nerve in a tense climax with two sixes in three balls.

And, with four deliveries still in hand, Lancashire reached 121-4 to go back top of the County Championship.

Peter Moores' men have now won four of their opening five games to lead Division One by five points from second-placed Warwickshire, subject to the Bears' appeal against their eight-point ban for a poor pitch against Worcestershire at Edgbaston last week, the outcome of which is expected on Monday.

It was left-arm spinner Keedy who set up the chance of victory, thanks to a post-tea spell of three scalps for one run in seven balls which helped him to a 14th six-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Yorkshire-born Keedy finished with match figures of 10-177 from 77.3 overs - his best haul in a Roses match against the county of his birth.

Paul Horton, Stephen Moore, Steven Croft then all contributed in a tense run chase before Maharoof finished the job to fire his team back to the top of the table.

Yorkshire still deserve credit for taking the contest down to the wire after being bowled out for 141 on the first day.

Underpinned by Joe Sayers' 75, over four and three quarter hours, captain Andrew Gale, Adil Rashid and Gary Ballance also notched fifties in a battling second-innings effort on a slow surface which offered plenty of assistance for the spinners.

But, after all Keedy's efforts, it was England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson who had Yorkshire last man Steven Patterson caught in the gully to set up a thrilling finale.

Adil Rashid took the wickets of Horton for 18, Moore for 19 and Gareth Cross for 11, before Ryan Sidebottom had Croft caught at long off for 28 off 19 balls, including two sixes.

Maharoof then clattered a six off Sidebottom, who bowled a costly wide as the pressure mounted. And he did the same to Rashid as Lancashire reached their target.

Just a day before the England squad is announced for Thursday's first Test against Sri Lanka, winter Ashes hero Anderson was earlier involved in a heated verbal exchange with Yorkshire duo Sayers and visiting skipper Gale.

Anderson, who took just two wickets in the match, was spoken to by umpires Neil Bainton and Richard Illingworth about the incident in the morning session.

Sayers seemed to be a particular target for the 28-year-old, but things reched a head when Gale was out, edging Keedy to Anderson at first slip.

Anderson then broke away from his colleagues to celebrate the wicket in front of the visiting captain as he walked off the pitch.

It is up to both umpires whether they report Anderson for his conduct.

"Our team are disappointed that it went so far," said Yorkshire's director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon. "We're all happy for fast bowlers to be aggressive but for me, it crossed the line."

"I don't think it was anything too dramatic," said Lancashire captain Glen Chapple. "But it got competitive."

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