SUDDENLY everything in Yorkshire's garden is lovely and all they need now is to pluck a red rose and bring it back home from tomorrow's Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy quarter-final clash with Lancashire at Old Trafford.

A couple of weeks ago Yorkshire looked very much second favourites for this critical match as they were on a losing run and Lancashire were sweeping all before them.

But since then, Yorkshire have triumphed in five consecutive away games while Lancashire have slumped to four defeats in nine days.

Despite the sharp reversal in fortunes, Yorkshire's director of cricket, David Byas, still insists that his side go into the game as underdogs.

"Lancashire have gone through a rough patch but it has been in a different form of cricket and although Andy Flintoff is out with an Achilles tendon injury they will still be very strong indeed," he said.

"We have also got to remember that they are a first division side in both the Championship and the National League and that we are still trying to emulate them.

"I am delighted with our recent form but tomorrow is another day and we won't be taking Lancashire lightly."

Yorkshire are determined that their lower status is only a temporary blip and after a shaky start to the season they now head their division in the totesport League and have lifted themselves to fourth place in the Championship table with two games in hand over the top two clubs.

Lancashire will be strengthened by the return fast bowler James Anderson from the Test squad but Yorkshire will have two big aces of their own in England captain, Michael Vaughan, fresh from giving the Kiwis a 3-0 whitewash, and one of his leading strike bowlers, Matthew Hoggard, who at Trent Bridge claimed his 100th wicket for England.

There was a slight scare over Darren Lehmann when he split his little finger while bowling for Phoenix at Worcester on Sunday but Byas said that the injury was not serious and would not hinder the Australian's performance against Lancashire.

Another reason why Yorkshire cannot disregard their opponents is that Lancashire have the slightly better record in previous Roses encounters in the summer's premier knockout competition.

They have met on seven occasions, Lancashire winning four times to Yorkshire's three, but when they last came together in the 1999 quarter-final at Old Trafford, Yorkshire were the victors by 55 runs, Byas himself top-scoring with 72 and Anthony McGrath chipping in with 60.

The surprise performance came from Australian Greg Blewett who failed with the bat but later came on as fifth change bowler and captured 4-18, his victims including Michael Atherton and Flintoff, who fell lbw for a duck.

Yorkshire from: Wood, White, Vaughan, McGrath, Lehmann, Jaques, Lumb, Blakey, Dawson, Silverwood, Hoggard, Bresnan, Kirby.

Updated: 11:19 Tuesday, June 15, 2004