Yorkshire are closing in on a second LV= Insurance County Championship victory, over champions Warwickshire at Headingley, after another impressive day three performance underpinned by a series of valuable contributions.
Matthew Revis and Jordan Thompson led the way with bat and ball; Revis hitting a career best 53 not out to ensure a first-innings lead of 205 before tea and Thompson striking three times either side of the break to undermine the Bears’ top order.
Warwickshire did recover to end the day on 57-3 from 40.2 overs in their second innings, but they still have a mountain to climb. Rain ended play 7.4 overs early.
Should unbeaten Yorkshire complete victory, it would be a huge boost heading into the near month-long break for the start of the Vitality Blast. It would also be overdue reward having dominated three of their four draws without being able to convert final day advantages.
On a pitch which has started to shown signs of deterioration – two-paced, some uneven bounce – it would be a surprise if they can’t force home this position of great strength.
Aside from all-round pair Revis and Thompson, there were other vital contributions during an action-packed day three.
Yorkshire started the day on 269-4 and were bowled out for 449. Adam Lyth, 118 overnight, advanced to 145, while wicketkeeper Harry Duke added a season’s best 48.
Then, not forgetting captain Steve Patterson, who has enjoyed a very productive start to the season to prove just how valuable to the progression of this team he remains at the age of 38.
He hit 18 in an entertaining 10th-wicket partnership of 57 with Revis, one which sapped some energy out of Warwickshire. And then, without striking, he bowled nine wicketless overs as the Bears top order struggled to cope.
With the pitch becoming tougher to bat on, he and Thompson caused significant problems.
Thompson had forced miscues from Alex Davies and Rob Yates as the Warwickshire second innings slipped to 20-2 after nine overs. Davies chipped to Will Fraine at mid-wicket and Yates to Tom Loten, diving towards short mid-off.
The Yates wicket came with the last ball before tea.
And afterwards, a back of a length delivery from the same bowler caught the shoulder of Dom Sibley’s (14) bat and flew to Bess at point, leaving Warwickshire at 25-3 in the 13th.
Australian seamer Nathan McAndrew and Michael Burgess both impressed for the Edgbaston county, finishing with four wickets and five catches behind the stumps respectively.
Yorkshire scored 100 runs for the loss of three wickets during the morning.
When Lyth edged a cut at McAndrew behind, he was two short of 12,000 runs in his first-class career and the score fell to 326-5 in the 109th over, in the 18th of the day.
He and Duke shared 60 for the fifth wicket, with the wicketkeeper going on to play nicely all around the wicket.
Dom Bess skewed Danny Briggs’ left-arm spin to backward point before Thompson was the victim of a superb reflex catch by Will Rhodes at mid-on having hammered a pull at McAndrew.
And when Duke lost his off-stump to McAndrew, Yorkshire were 383-8 in the 131st, a home lead of 139.
The fifth catch for Burgess was his best, one-handed low down to his left off a Loten inside edge against Oliver Hannon-Dalby (392-9 in the 138th).
Revis hit strongly and confidently, especially on the up off the front foot, as he dominated his alliance with captain Patterson, who lost his leg stump against McAndrew to end the innings midway through the afternoon.
Then came home success with the ball before the day ended with some Warwickshire resistance through Sam Hain (19) and Rhodes (10). But, fingers crossed, it won’t translate into Sunday survival.