Centurion Adam Lyth was at the heart of Yorkshire’s productive pursuit of bonus points on day three of the Roses clash at Emerald Headingley.
Lyth moved from 86 to 103 and secured his first hundred across all formats since September 2018 as the White Rose posted a first-innings 260.
He later struck with his ever-improving off-spinners as Lancashire’s reply stumbled from 104-0 to 112-3 either side of tea.
The Red Rose closed on 195-5 from 69 overs, including a maiden first-class wicket for 19-year-old George Hill.
This penultimate round North Group fixture in the Bob Willis Trophy has long been heading for a draw.
With 122 overs lost across the first two days and a nasty forecast for the final day, the accumulation of bonus points has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Should rain not arrive on day four, a contrived result could happen.
Second-placed Yorkshire – two points behind leaders Derbyshire prior to this fixture – are still well placed in the race to finish top of the North and secure a Lord’s final place.
So every point is vital, and both have three bonus points apiece at present.
Lancashire, on the other hand, really need to win to keep their hopes of qualification alive given they started the game 22 points behind leaders Derbyshire.
In all, Lyth has now posted an enviable six career centuries against Lancashire – four of them coming against the red ball.
Yorkshire began day three, which provided the game’s easiest batting conditions, on 178-6.
Lyth completed a seventh-wicket partnership of 55 with all-rounder Hill, who impressed for his 29.
The former moved to three figures off 218 balls with back-to-back boundaries off seamer Danny Lamb, the second of them flashed high and wide of the slips.
Lamb took two of the morning wickets to finish with a career best 4-55, bowling Hill and getting Steve Patterson caught at first slip.
Lyth was the first to depart when he edged a loose drive at Tom Bailey to first slip – 219-7 in the 80th over.
Lamb then bowled Hill in the 81st and got Patterson four overs later, leaving the White Rose at 234-9.
Duanne Olivier thankfully quelled any fears of missing out on a second batting point with an unbeaten 20 before George Balderson trapped Jared Warner lbw to wrap up the innings in the 93rd over, approximately half an hour before lunch.
Lancashire’s response was then mixed – periods of success and wickets in clusters, including their first three for eight runs either side of tea.
Openers Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings (23) shared 104 in 34 overs through the majority of the afternoon.
Davies top-scored with 73, reaching 4,000 first-class career runs in the process.
He and later Dane Vilas both offered tough slip chances to Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore at first and second, both off Hill.
The wickets that did fall either side of tea went to Lyth, Warner and particularly miserly Patterson, who finished with 1-23 from 19 overs.
Lyth had Jennings lbw sweeping before Warner had Josh Bohannon caught behind and Patterson trapped Davies lbw, leaving the visitors at 112-3 in the 41st.
Vilas (41) and Rob Jones shared 65 to steady, only to fall to successive deliveries – 177-5. Vilas was trapped lbw by Olivier and Jones (21) caught behind driving at the delighted Hill.