Yorkshire endured a largely frustrating second day against Durham at Emirates Riverside, as the hosts fought their way back into this Bob Willis Trophy opener.
After bowling Durham out for 103 during yesterday’s opening day, the White Rose were very much in pole position to secure a North Group victory.
And while they no doubt remain in the ascendancy, they still have significant work to do having been unable to take a stranglehold on the behind closed doors contest.
From mid-afternoon onwards, Durham slowly cut down Yorkshire’s lead of 96 and took the lead just before close, where they reached at 106-2 from 51 overs.
The White Rose’s opening day bowling performance was ruthless and relentless. However, that unfortunately wasn’t the case with the bat as they only replied with 199, including a valuable late 28 from Ben Coad at number 10.
Pitch conditions remain tricky for the batting even though they have improved as the game has gone on. The surface is quite a sluggish one now.
No one from either side made a fifty in the first innings, but a number of Yorkshire batsmen fell in avoidable fashion.
The visitors, 84-4 overnight and trailing by 19, made a bright start to the day, with county debutant Dawid Malan (30) and Harry Brook completing a 52-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Malan was first to go, superbly caught behind by a diving Ned Eckersley following an inside-edge against Chris Rushworth – 120-5 in the 32nd over of the innings, the 10th of the day.
Brook looked in particularly fine fettle, stroking seven boundaries in a fluent 41. But he fell to a miscued pull at Matty Potts and was caught at deepish mid-wicket.
That was the first of two wickets in seven balls as Jordan Thompson was lbw shouldering arms at Ben Raine, leaving Yorkshire at 157-7 in the 42nd over.
Jonny Tattersall also fell shouldering arms at Raine, bowled with the last ball of the morning session. Yorkshire now 164-8 after 50 overs.
Without further addition to the score, Matthew Fisher chipped the fourth ball of the afternoon from Rushworth to mid-on before Coad’s important late intervention.
He struck five fours in 28 off 31 balls, sharing 35 for the 10th wicket with Jack Shutt and adding to his four wickets in the first innings.
It was just a shame they couldn’t have added one more run, which would have secured a batting bonus point for reaching 200.
At the start of Durham’s second innings, Yorkshire’s seamers built pressure as they had done at the start of the game. But openers Alex Lees and Sean Dickson stoically saw off the new ball.
They shared 47 inside 27 overs either side of tea before captain Steve Patterson had Dickson (14) caught behind by Tattersall off an inside edge.
Former Yorkshire two-time Championship winner Lees continued to hold firm against an attack which worked tirelessly and conceded less than two runs per over until very late on.
And their next reward came via the run out of Cameron Steel as Durham fell to 71-2 in the 39th over.
Steel played Thompson out into the deep behind square on the off-side, only to be run out coming back for three. Coad threw to wicketkeeper Tattersall mid-pitch, who completed the job with a direct hit at the non-striker’s end.
Lees reached a 129-ball fifty – the first of the match – off Shutt’s first ball of the match, with the off-spinner employed to bowl the 43rd over of the innings.
Durham took the lead inside the last three overs of the day. Lees will begin day three unbeaten on 58 and David Bedingham on 18.