Adam Lyth contributed yet another century, supported by fifties for Fin Bean, Joe Root, Harry Brook and George Hill, as Yorkshire pushed for a Vitality County Championship win over Gloucestershire on day three at the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol.

Opener Lyth scored his second successive Division Two hundred, the 34th of his first-class career, his fluent 113 helping Yorkshire set up a highly unlikely victory target of 498 after tea.

Gloucestershire closed the day on 97-4 from 26 overs. Ben Coad, Matt Milnes, Dan Moriarty and Matthew Fisher all struck. 

Thirty-six-year-old Lyth had started what proved another dominant day for the visitors on 39 – the score 57-0 after 11 overs – and went on to share an opening stand of 180 inside 38 overs with Bean, who himself contributed a pleasing 73 with two leg-side sixes.

Yorkshire declared on 434-6 from 82 overs, with England pair Root and unbeaten Brook also contributing 51 and 68 and Hill 58. Glos captain Graeme van Buuren claimed three wickets with his left-arm spin. 

Yorkshire started the day on 57-0 and batted positively throughout without being reckless. 

Brook and Hill, late on, were the only players who really threw caution to the wind.  

Lyth and Bean

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Fin Bean and Adam Lyth walk out to bat at Bristol. 

Bean pulled and slog-swept sixes off seam and spin, including the former off Marchant de Lange to long-leg to reach his fifty off 75 balls. He had started the day 15 not out.

Lyth had already reached his fifty off 61 balls, and went to hit 19 boundaries in all.

Bean was the only wicket to fall during a morning which saw Yorkshire finish on 194-1 after 41 overs. 

He was trapped lbw by van Buuren shortly before the break, the same bowler getting Lyth caught at short third following an attempted reverse sweep shortly after lunch.

At that stage, Yorkshire were 202-2 in the 45th over. 

Shan Masood and Root both hit leg-side sixes off spin, the former’s hoisted over mid-wicket from Ollie Price’s off-spin and thudding into a fast food van.

The Pakistan captain was then stumped as he advanced at van Buuren, bringing Brook to the crease at 272-3 after 58 overs with the lead on 335.

Joe Root

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Joe Root was one of five Yorkshire batters to pass 50 today. 

By this stage, realistically, the game was already beyond Gloucestershire.

Root slog-swept Price for six behind square, though scored a good portion of his runs with touch – guides, reverse sweeps, etc. He attempted one of his now famous reverse ramps off seam – Josh Shaw to be precise – and miscued it for one.

His departure, brilliantly caught behind one-handed down leg by James Bracey, came after Brook had got settled at the crease, Yorkshire by now 310-4 with a lead of 373 during the second half of the afternoon.

Brook played some dreamy shots. He hit van Buuren gloriously over cover for four and pulled him into the car park next ball, reaching his fifty off 43 balls immediately before tea (365-4, a lead of 428).

With rain forecast for tomorrow morning, there were a few raised eyebrows that Yorkshire batted on beyond tea. The placid nature of the pitch and the Kookaburra ball being in use will surely have come into the thinking of Masood and co. 

Hill was the chief protagonist from this point onwards in setting a target close to 500. He hoisted de Lange high over mid-wicket for six, reaching his fifty off 54 balls.

Both Brook and Hill holed out to catches in the deep off de Lange and Price, before the declaration came with 26 overs remaining.

Harry Brook

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Harry Brook on the charge v Gloucestershire. 

Coad ensured Yorkshire made the ideal start to their defence by getting Chris Dent caught at leg slip by Bean – 7-1 after 15 balls – before Matt Milnes removed overseas Australian Cameron Bancroft caught behind for eight.

As he ran in, Milnes jumped out to his left in his run-up in a bid to break the batter’s concentration. It may well have worked, as Bancroft edged behind a loose drive, falling to leave the score at 48-2 in the 17th over.

Price and Miles Hammond then attacked spinners Root and Moriarty in the closing stages of the day. They had some success, but it proved costly in the end as left-handed Hammond (35) heaved Moriarty to mid-wicket three overs before close, the first of two wickets in as many overs.

On reflection, Hammond’s dismissal has put his side under real pressure, with Fisher returning to trap nightwatchman Shaw lbw, leaving Gloucestershire at 94-4 in the 25th. Price will begin day four on 44, his side needing 401 more to win.

Yorkshire still have work to do for victory, but Gloucestershire’s task is clearly far, far greater, especially when you consider their highest successful first-class chase was 389 – against Yorkshire on this ground in 1948.

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