Gloucestershire had much the better of a weather-shortened day three against Yorkshire at Headingley as this LV= Insurance County Championship fixture heads towards a draw.
Brothers Ollie and Tom Price, aged 22 and 23 respectively, counter-attacked amidst the threat of the follow-on either side of tea on a day which only started at 2.15pm and saw 38 overs bowled due to three further bad light stoppages added to the morning rain.
Gloucestershire were replying to Yorkshire’s 550-9 declared and started on 232-5, needing to reach 401 to avoid having to follow-on.
They quickly slipped to 246-6 when Miles Hammond holed out to long-on off Dan Moriarty’s left-arm spin. But, by close, they had advanced to 421-8, a deficit of 129 runs.
Ollie Price will begin day four on 97 not out, while Tom added 59 and was one of two late wickets before bad light ended play at 5.55pm.
Maybe there could be a contrived finish in this one. If not, it would take something very special for Yorkshire to win.
Something special, just like the statistic that was confirmed today regarding first-innings centurions Fin Bean, George Hill and Matthew Revis.
This was the first time in Yorkshire history that three uncapped players have scored centuries in the same Championship innings. It is the 16th time in all that three hundreds have been scored in the same innings. All the other times have included at least one capped player.
Hammond set the tone for Gloucestershire by hoisting Moriarty for six over long-off with the second ball of the day, but he only advanced from 84 overnight to 92, caught by Dom Leech on the boundary.
Unfortunately, it was the Prices who did the damage as far as Yorkshire were concerned.
They shared a Gloucestershire seventh-wicket record partnership in matches versus Yorkshire, 162 inside 33 overs either side of tea under a slate grey sky and the floodlights.
Moriarty has been Yorkshire’s standout bowler in this match, bowling nicely for 4-131 from 33 overs his first of four scheduled appearances having joined on loan from Surrey through to the end of next month.
Ok, he conceded a handful of sixes yesterday and through to today. But he has remained a constant threat.
The light forced Yorkshire to employ spin from both ends pretty early into proceedings, with Adam Lyth bowling some part-time off-spin.
There was a near 25-minute delay for bad light from just before 3.20pm, with 17 overs bowled beforehand. Fifteen of them were sent down by the spin of Moriarty and part-time offie Adam Lyth as Gloucestershire reached 300-6.
Ollie Price swept and reverse swept on the way to an 82-ball fifty after the resumption following bad light.
Unfortunately for Yorkshire, the 10 overs upon the resumption through to tea proved extremely damaging, with 69 runs scored, including 45 in four overs against the new ball taken by Mark Steketee and Matthew Fisher.
Ollie pulled well against Fisher and Tom played an eye-catching arrow straight drive off Steketee for four.
Gloucestershire reached tea at 369-6, but only 15 runs were added before the second of three bad light stoppages – again for 25 minutes.
Later, Tom reached his fifty off 93 balls as Gloucestershire avoided the follow-on at 402-6. But he was bowled almost immediately by Hill.
When Zafar Gohar failed to evade a Leech short ball in the next over, Gloucestershire were 413-8 after 93 overs. Only two more overs were possible before a final bad light stoppage came at 5.55pm. Fifty eight overs were lost.