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Gale and Ballance shine at Scarborough

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale found vintage form on the third day of the LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough as he plundered his first century for two seasons and helped to set new batting records with Gary Ballance.

Gale was a career-best 159 not out at the close and Ballance unbeaten on 103, the pair having added 237 together to take Yorkshire to 358 for four in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 443 all out.

The duo set a new fifth-wicket record for the White Rose against Nottinghamshire and posted the highest fifth-wicket stand in any county match at North Marine Road.

Gale carried over patchy form from last season into the current campaign, with some supporters calling for him to be moved down the batting order or even dropped. However, he answered his critics in the best possible way with a faultless exhibition of batting.

Yorkshire certainly had their work cut out when they began the third morning on 29 for three, needing to reach 294 to avoid the possibility of the follow-on.

But Nottinghamshire's opening pace pair of Luke Fletcher and Harry Gurney were missing some of the menace they displayed on the previous evening and Gale was soon off the mark with a confident cover boundary off Gurney before taking further fours from both bowlers.

Paul Franks replaced Gurney and was driven and pulled to the boundary by Phil Jaques in his first over, while Gale cut consecutive balls at the start of Gurney's second spell to the rope.

Yorkshire continued to prosper and Jaques went to his half-century off 94 balls with eight fours. Yet, having helped to add 94 in 29 overs with Gale, he was snapped up at short-leg by James Taylor off Samit Patel's left-arm spin.

The Australian's dismissal for 51 came shortly before lunch, at which stage Yorkshire were 123 for four, but it was Gale and Ballance who dominated proceedings thereafter.

Gale showed few signs of nervousness as he entered the nineties and charged into three figures by taking a step down the pitch and on-driving Patel for six, his 12th century for Yorkshire using up 171 balls and containing nine fours in addition to that maximum.

It was Gale's third championship century against Nottinghamshire, his previous two being unbeaten, and also his third at North Marine Road where he scored his maiden ton against Warwickshire in 2006.

Ballance appeared to have reached his half-century before the interval but the umpire's changed signal to leg-byes had gone unnoticed and his score had to be adjusted. He got there after the break, having faced 140 balls and struck six boundaries.

With the batsmen in command, Nottinghamshire took the new ball at the first opportunity but were unable to stop Gale and his partner setting a new fifth-wicket batting record for Yorkshire against their opponents, leaving in their wake the 152 by John Hampshire and Neil Hartley at Trent Bridge in 1981.

Their alliance became the best fifth-wicket stand in a championship match at Scarborough when it overtook the 198 by Michael Yardy and Ben Brown for Sussex in 2011.

Gale's 15th four took him to 153 and a new career-best score, and there was just time for Ballance to reach his century from 208 balls before stumps.

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