Jack Brooks continued his outstanding Headingley record to deny Lancashire’s hopes of exploiting Yorkshire’s injury-hit attack during an absorbing second day of the Roses match.
The former England Lions seamer took his tally of LV= County Championship wickets for the season to 26 by claiming 5-90 as Lancashire were dismissed for 325, despite Ryan Sidebottom being forced out of the attack after lunch with a suspected left hamstring strain.
Sidebottom is unlikely to bowl again in this match and must be doubtful for this weekend’s trip to face Northamptonshire, and may be sent for a scan tomorrow if he does not respond to ice treatment.
But in his absence, Brooks stepped up to claim his second five-wicket haul of the season at HQ and claim 20 wickets in only three matches - statistics that at the very least should earn him a mention in England’s selection meetings.
Brooks, though, remains committed to Yorkshire and insists he has not considered international cricket, saying: “When England were the best team, I didn’t get a sniff and I am nowhere near the set-up at the minute.
“For me just to get talked about playing for England is fantastic from where I was a few years ago, and I still haven’t been in the game a lot, but I don’t want to let it get into my head too much.”
Resuming the second morning on 87-2, Lancashire looked in danger of posting a daunting first- innings total, only for Brooks to bowl Paul Horton for 66 when he offered no shot, a wicket that was the catalyst for them slipping to 178-5 at lunch.
Once Sidebottom failed to appear, it was key that someone stepped up in his absence, and Brooks responded by bowling Glen Chapple, ending a 68-run seventh-wicket stand with Tom Smith with the fourth over of the new ball.
He also bowled Smith, playing on attempting a late cut, while Liam Plunkett wrapped up Lancashire’s innings to finish with 4-74 in front of national selector James Whitaker.
Yorkshire advanced without alarm to 29 without loss when rain halted play with 8.5 overs remaining and the Roses match once again finely balanced.