Jordan Thompson returned a season’s best 5-52 to help set up a victory target of 224 on day two against Warwickshire at Emerald Headingley, with Yorkshire reaching close on 50-3 from 26 overs.
This penultimate round LV= Insurance County Championship match is a must win for both title-chasing sides, and Yorkshire – pursuing the highest total of the match – require another 174 with Gary Ballance at the crease on 21.
Unfortunately, Yorkshire lost Dawid Malan to Liam Norwell brilliantly caught one-handed by Tim Bresnan at first slip, with the last ball of the day.
Day two was another bowler-dominated day, interspersed only with flashes of batting success, including Bresnan’s 36 against the county he won back-to-back Championships with in 2014 and 2015.
Faced with a first-innings deficit of 47, Thompson took the lead role in trying to drag the White Rose back into things in bowling Warwickshire out for 176 shortly after tea.
He struck twice in an over twice during his 15.4 overs and is now Yorkshire’s highest Championship wicket-taker in 2021 with 43 at 19.81 apiece.
The White’s Rose first innings – it resumed on 95-8 in reply to 155 – was wrapped up inside the opening 17 minutes of play for 108, including Craig Miles bowling Ballance for 58 to wrap up the innings as he looked for quick runs with only Ben Coad left for company.
Norwell, who bowled Steve Patterson, finished with an excellent 4-27 and was the pick of the visiting attack.
From there, Yorkshire had an uphill battle. But it was a battle the rapidly developing Thompson was more than up to.
Warwickshire made their way to 23-0 inside 12 overs of their second innings before Yorkshire’s fightback really gathered steam inside the next six overs.
Patterson bowled Will Rhodes and Matt Lamb either side of two wickets in two balls for Thompson in the 15th over, including prolific Sam Hain for his second golden duck of the match – a king pair.
Chris Benjamin edged a loose drive to second slip before Hain was squared up and edged behind. Patterson’s wicket of Lamb left the score at 27-4, a lead of 74. The Bears later reached lunch at 40-4.
Either side of the break, England Test opener Dom Sibley, trying to prove his worth having been dropped after two games of the late summer India series, and Michael Burgess shared a very useful 70 partnership.
The duo played contrasting knocks under the Headingley floodlights. Sibley was characteristically stubborn for 45, while Burgess was punchy in his 37 in backing up a first-innings 66.
However, Sibley’s departure midway through the afternoon sparked another cluster of wickets as the score slipped to 108-7 in the 41st over – a visiting lead of 155.
Thompson had him and Chris Woakes, the latter for a duck, caught behind in the space of four balls in the 37th over before Burgess drove Matthew Fisher’s first ball of a new spell to point.
Fisher struck again when he flattened Jacob Bethell’s off stump (130-8 in the 47th), only for Bresnan to busily accrue 36 through to tea, where Warwickshire reached at 163-8 with a 210 lead.
But the all-rounder fell lbw to Coad with the first ball of the evening session before Thompson, returning to the attack to replace injured Patterson, wrapped up the innings by getting Norwell caught at mid-off.
Yorkshire were left with 26 overs to face before close and lost George Hill caught at first slip by Bresnan, pushing forward to Woakes, as the chase fell to 1-1 in the third over.
By this time, the sun was shining for the first time in the game.
Unfortunately, Adam Lyth (14) fell in similar fashion to Hill off the bowling of Miles, leaving Yorkshire at 18-2 in the 11th over.
Malan and Ballance had taken the sting out of the situation up until the final over, only for Malan to fall for 12.