Yorkshire assistant coach Ali Maiden believes the county have an excellent victory chance on day four against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road tomorrow.

Yorkshire will head into the final day with a lead of 217, at 156-5 in their second innings, with captain Shan Masood unbeaten on 82.

The captain’s presence at the crease is crucial, a set batter who can dictate terms. 

Should the visitors succeed tomorrow, it would be their first win of the season at the seventh attempt in Division Two.

Yorkshire have been ahead in plenty of games this season, but haven’t yet managed to get over the line for one reason or another. Fingers crossed, tomorrow will be different. 

Maiden sees absolutely no reason why not.

He said: “We think the pitch was designed to produce a result, and there’s still enough in it for our seamers to get something out of it with a decent score on the board.

“The plan would be to get us into a position where we feel comfortable to then put the pressure back on Northampton.

“We have a bit of work to do because we’re five wickets down and we don’t want to be bowled out short of where we want to be. Shan’s in, which is good, and it’s about coming back in the morning and building a partnership.

“The first hour will be important and we’ll go from there.

“We think that if we got another 120 runs, that would be a good position because Northants have to get similar to what we got the first innings (362), which will be tough on that wicket you’d have thought.

“Another 120 runs we’d be happy with. But, obviously it depends how long that takes and whether we do that quickly and if we want a few more for a bit more of a cushion. We’ll see. The first hour will dictate what happens in the day. 

“I don’t think that pitch is going to get any easier, so hopefully 60 or 70 overs will be enough time to make it hard work for them.”

Masood was excellent today, posting his second half-century of the match. But, from 57 onwards, he had to battle against a right wrist injury suffered – surprisingly – whilst playing and missing against the seam of Ben Sanderson after lunch.  

The Pakistan captain continued after a couple of spells of treatment and impressed. 

Maiden added: “It was a strange one really. He played and missed at a ball which seemed to affect his wrist. Whether it’s a bit of pinching or nervy-type thing, I don’t know.

“He struggled a bit with that, and it only affected him when he used his top hand – playing defensive or vertical bat shots. 

“So he ended up, using his bottom hand more. And he played some great shots. He showed his class because he’s struggling, but he still managed to put pressure on the bowlers.”

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