David Willey was understandably miffed after Peter Siddle took Essex beyond the follow-on target of 241 late on day three at Emerald Headingley, but the Yorkshire all-rounder hailed his team-mates’ endeavours with the ball and in the field.

Essex, replying to 390, had moved to 190-3 an hour before tea, only to slip to 223-9 as Dom Bess, Duanne Olivier, Willey and Steve Patterson all struck.

Unfortunately, however, after a 50-minute bad light delay from 5.30pm, Aussie Siddle whacked two straight sixes, including one off Patterson, to ensure Essex will not have to bat again immediately.

With only one day left in the game, Yorkshire’s chances of victory are now slim.

Willey said: ”It’s frustrating, but despite that I think it was a brilliant effort by all the bowlers today.

“It’s a good pitch, but we managed to get the ball moving sideways and went at less than two and a half an over for the day. Take the scoreboard out of it, look at what we’ve done, we had a great day. We did well to get it as close as we did.

“We managed to bowl nicely. The ball reverse swung a bit, which helped massively. Dom got hit for a six into the stand, and it came back rough on one side and started reversing.

“There’s always a way you can win the game, but it’s going to be a big challenge to try and post a score.

“There’s still a bit there with the new ball, so we can’t just go out and try and blaze 150 in the morning.

“It’s going to be very difficult to set up a game, unfortunately. But I guess you never know. If the scoreboard starts flowing, we may be able to have 50 overs at them.”
Willey returned 2-39 from 19 overs and has fitted back into Yorkshire’s Championship team impressively during the last two weeks following his World Cup omission.

“Yeah, I’ve settled in nicely, but I’m not sure my body has. My hamstrings are a bit sore now!” he smiled.

“Over the last few seasons, I’ve struggled to come back into Championship cricket. But I’m pretty happy with how I’m going.”

Olivier also struck twice, but Dom Bess led the way with 3-39 from 22 overs.

Willey added: “When you’ve got a world-class spinner who can go at two an over, it makes our job a lot easier. He bowled exceptionally well and looked threatening throughout. To have someone like in your armoury like that is brilliant.”

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