Yorkshire battled hard for reward with the ball throughout day two against Gloucestershire and hold a definite advantage heading into the second half of the Vitality County Championship clash at Bristol’s Seat Unique Stadium.

In reply to Yorkshire’s 326 all out, Gloucestershire started day two on 28-2 and were bowled out for 263 as new ball seamers Ben Coad and Matthew Fisher returned 3-44 from 21 overs and 3-65 from 20 respectively. 

They were part of an eight-man attack, with left-arm spinner Dan Moriarty also striking twice. 

Yorkshire then built on their 63-run lead to close on 57-0 from 11 overs. Adam Lyth contributed an unbeaten 39, and the lead is 120.

Australian overseas opener Cameron Bancroft frustrated the visitors with a determined 70 off 196 balls. But his fifty included only one boundary, and you always felt that as long as Yorkshire kept a hold on the scoring rate, which they did, there would come a time when wickets fell.

So it proved, Gloucestershire falling from 126-3 midway through the afternoon. As the hosts attacked, wickets fell, including Bancroft caught at deep mid-off against Moriarty.  

Matthew Fisher

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Matthew Fisher claimed three wickets at Bristol today.

Ben Charlesworth finished with a contrasting unbeaten on 52 with two sixes as wickets fell around him. Matt Milnes and Lyth were Yorkshire’s other wicket-takers.

Milnes made the ideal start to the day, striking in its fourth over when he had night-watchman Josh Shaw caught low down at third slip by Harry Brook (28-3 in the 18th over).

From then on, Gloucestershire dug in on a pitch which offered enough on day one but had seemingly eased. They were met with some tight bowling from seam and spin along with some inventive fields which saw numerous catchers in front of the bat.

Bancroft led the way and drove the morning’s only boundary off Milnes in the opening half hour of play. 

In fact, it was his only boundary in a 160-ball fifty, reached in the early stages of the afternoon – by which Gloucestershire were 110-3 in the 55th over.

After lunch, the hosts did show more aggression, though only a touch more. 

Dan Moriarty.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Dan Moriarty, who claimed the big wicket of Cameron Bancroft.

Bancroft swept Moriarty’s left-arm spin for four and Miles Hammond pulled Fisher for six on the way to 43.

The left-hander and Bancroft had put on 98 for the fourth wicket inside 42 overs when Moriarty pushed one a bit wider and Hammond advanced at it, missed and was stumped by Jonny Tattersall – 126-4 in the 59th.

And that was when things started to happen – when the game started to open up a bit.

Gloucestershire started to show some more aggression, and Yorkshire profited.

Left-handed Charlesworth also hit Moriarty for six, while Bancroft also tried to do similar against the same bowler, only to miscue to deep mid-off, where Root took the catch – 157-5 in the 69th.

It was a rare sign of aggression from the Australian fringe Test opener, and ultimately a misguided one as Moriarty struck again. 

Cameron Bancroft

Picture by Paul Kane/Getty Images. Gloucestershire’s Cameron Bancroft.

In a bid to prise more wickets out late in the afternoon, Shan Masood also employed the part-time spin of Harry Brook and Lyth for an over apiece. 

And, with Lyth, it did the trick immediately. 

With just his second ball, he had James Bracey caught at slip by Root at the second attempt following an attempted late cut, leaving Gloucestershire 202-6 in the 79th over. That proved to be the last ball before tea.

Yorkshire took the new ball in the early stages of the afternoon, and Coad struck twice in three balls as captain Graeme van Buuren and Zaman Akhter were both caught behind – 220-8 in the 85th.

A few more lusty blows were struck by Charlesworth and fast bowler Marchant de Lange, though Fisher had the latter caught at mid-off and trapped Ajeet Singh Dale lbw to wrap up the innings.

Unbeaten Charlesworth had reached his fifty off 70 balls with a six over mid-wicket off Milnes.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Adam Lyth contributed with ball and then bat to keep Yorkshire on course for victory.

The start of Yorkshire’s second innings was delayed by 10 minutes due to rain before bad light forced a half-hour delay, accounting for five overs.

But Lyth hit the first three balls of the innings for four off Shaw – one driven, one clipped and the other punched off the back foot through square cover – to set up a positive end to the day as Yorkshire not far off doubled their lead.

Fin Bean will begin day three on 15.

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