On Tuesday, Manchester’s two Old Trafford’s played host to both the Stones and the Roses.
With Mick Jagger’s world-famous rockers due over the road in the evening, Lancashire v Yorkshire was the warm-up act. And what an act it was, one of the most exciting contests in the long history between these two great rivals and a fine game of one-day cricket.
Ultimately it was Lancashire who could get no satisfaction. Yorkshire’s massive total of 379-7 proved out of reach for a side already eliminated from the competition.
Sunny skies, a flat pitch, lightning-fast outfield and a short boundary – conditions were perfect for a high-scoring clash. That’s exactly what was delivered. Over 700 runs in the match, the highest ever in a Yorkshire game.
It was Adam Lyth and David Willey who proved they had moves like Jagger after Yorkshire won the toss and chose to bat. Brought together by the early loss of the in-form Tom Kohler-Cadmore, they went on to share a record-breaking partnership.
The pair made 235, Yorkshire’s third-highest ever List A stand and the highest partnership for any wicket in Roses one-day matches by either side.
Early doors it was Lyth who had all the rhythm, making his half-century from 52 balls as Yorkshire had 57-1. But Willey soon began to paint it black with a series of crushing blows. His fifty included a couple of big sixes and the century stand came up from just 109 balls.
Willey really started to motor after reaching that mark, peppering the shorter side of the ground with great regularity. Wild horses couldn’t have tied him down.
He moved to 99 with one of the biggest sixes seen at Old Trafford, belting Josh Bohannon three quarters of the way back into the temporary stand. Keaton Jennings headed up the steps to retrieve it, leading to a scene reminiscent of Play Your Cards Right. ‘Higher, higher’ they shouted to tell him where the ball was.
Willey’s century took 79 balls and he would soon by joined at that mark by Lyth whose own milestone came from 105 balls. Together they were taking a bedraggled Lancashire attack apart and they weren’t helped by the fielders.
By the end of the innings there were six drops, Willey and Lyth both put down twice as they continued their relentless barrage. More sixes came from the bat of Willey, seven he hit in total, as the 4000 plus crowd at Old Trafford cried ‘gimme shelter’.
Liam Livingstone did for him, bowling the England all-rounder for a 94-ball 131. It threatened to put the brakes on Yorkshire somewhat, the white rose still in a commanding position on 280-2 with ten overs remaining.
Lancashire continued to help them in their cause, with wayward bowling and a plethora of extras. Their massive total stood at 379-7 at the end of the innings, Lyth out for 144, their highest List A total against first-class counties and the most List A runs conceded by Lancashire.
With their highest previous successful run-chase standing at 313, Lancashire seemed to have precious little chance.
That thought was being adjusted after a fantastic effort from their top order. In particular, a blistering second-wicket stand of 124 between Keaton Jennings and Livingstone rocked Old Trafford.
Livingstone in particular was scintillating. He smashed the ball all around the ground to make 79 from 44 balls including four sweetly-struck sixes. That took Lancashire to 144-1 – Alex Davies the early wicket to fall.
Livingstone departed trying a big shot too many but Jennings and Dane Vilas continued the momentum with a fifty stand. It was 215-2 at the halfway stage, 165 from 150 balls the equation. Can’t you hear me knocking, said the history books.
Wickets were always going to be the most precious commodity for Lancashire and they couldn’t keep them at the most crucial time. When they should have been thinking ‘time is on my side’ Jennings picked out Kohler-Cadmore in the deep and went for 69, before Vilas played a needless swipe and top-edged to Pujara for 47.
From there, it would always be a tough challenge and it was a bridge too far. Haseeb Hameed’s 32 from 33 was a classy innings but his wicket, along with that of Josh Bohannon – a third for Rashid – ended their hopes.
Or had it? Back Lancashire came again, a plucky fifty-partnership from 29 balls for the ninth wicket between Stephen Parry and Tom Bailey breathed life once again.
But Willey returned to dismiss both and finish with four scalps, bowling Lancashire out for their fourth-highest List A total – 363.
Yorkshire move on to a final round meeting at home to Northants knowing that a victory will likely see them through to the knockout phase.
This match was a one of the best one-day contests you’ll see, a great display of what 50-over cricket can deliver and a marvellous spectacle for a healthy crowd in the Manchester sunshine.
I know it’s only rock’n’roll, but I like it.