Yorkshire’s trend of strong second-innings batting performances this season continued as they enjoyed a productive third day to set up a strong victory chance against Surrey at Scarborough.
This summer, the White Rose have regularly recovered from first-innings struggles to secure precious Specsavers County Championship points, with the opening week draw at Notts and the win at Kent being prime examples.
Here, Yorkshire didn’t quite fail in the first innings with 337, but they should have got more having been 187-1.
They started their second innings at the beginning of day three, trailing by 35, and closed on 303-9 with a lead of 268.
Adam Lyth was their standout performer with 68, while Will Fraine chipped in with 43, Tom Kohler-Cadmore 42, Jonny Tattersall 38 and David Willey a swashbuckling late 43.
Lyth and Fraine laid the platform with an opening stand of 94 inside 26 overs.
It was their fourth half-century stand or better in seven completed Championship innings together.
Unfortunately, they fell just short of becoming Yorkshire’s first opening pair since Martyn Moxon and Ashley Metcalfe in 1988 to score two hundreds in the same Championship match.
Their stand was ended when Fraine edged a drive at medium pacer Ryan Patel’s fourth ball to Jordan Clark at gully.
Earlier, the first-innings centurion had hit two sixes off Clark, one pulled into the mobile Yorkshire Cricket Foundation Museum and the other cut.
Surrey’s bowlers did not threaten enough before lunch. But they improved during the afternoon, which brought them three wickets – two to Rikki Clarke, including Lyth.
Gary Ballance was the first of the afternoon wickets, lbw to Sam Curran for 23 – 131-2 after 35 overs, a lead of 96.
Lyth reached his second fifty of the match off 130 balls and was almost immediately dropped at backward point by Clark off Gareth Batty’s off-spin.
But he fell caught behind off Clarke in the 53rd over before Jack Leaning was lbw in the next to the same bowler for his second duck of the match, leaving the White Rose at 168-4 in the 55th over with a lead of 133.
Lyth will be mightily frustrated that he has now reached 50 six times in the Championship this season without going on to a hundred.
There was some amusing banter between the home crowd and the Surrey players just before tea, with the crowd barracking Surrey for appealing for a caught behind against Tattersall which looked to be a long way from the outside edge.
What followed was a 5-10 minute period of the crowd playfully appealing after every ball. In the end, Surrey’s players joined in.
After tea, the White Rose consolidated after the afternoon wickets, with Kohler-Cadmore and Tattersall completing a fifth-wicket stand of 57 to push the lead up towards 200.
Surrey’s decision to delay the new ball was vindicated when Batty had Kohler-Cadmore stumped in the 81st over – 225-5 and a lead of 190.
After Willey hit four fours in his first 10 balls, Tattersall fell caught at first slip by Clarke off Curran, with the new ball, as Yorkshire fell to 251-6 in the 86th.
Willey hit four more fours in a crucial 35-ball knock ended when he edged Curran to Borthwick at second slip before Keshav Maharaj fell the same way to Morne Morkel (286-8 in the 93rd, a lead of 251).
Morkel then had Steve Patterson caught at deep point in the 95th – 295-9.
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