Yorkshire keep Durham at bay
A defiant hundred from skipper Andrew Gale carried Yorkshire to safety against LV= County Championship leaders Durham at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Gale’s second century of the season came off 192 balls and he was unbeaten on 101 at the close of play with Yorkshire 57 ahead on 280 for four.
But they took only five points - compared with Durham’s 11 - from a match that lost the first day to rain, and slipped to next to bottom courtesy of Worcestershire’s win over Hampshire.
Adam Lyth made his season-best 69 and the third left-hander, Gary Ballance, contributed 53 to an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 120 with Gale.
The only chance given by either came with Ballance on 23, when Gordon Muchall was unable to hang on to a sharp head-high chance to his left at first slip off Callum Thorp.
Gale was very composed in an innings which spanned almost four hours, looking solid in defence while also hitting 15 fours.
Durham were not helped by the absence of Paul Collingwood, who was ruled out with a groin injury picked up while making a century yesterday.
Steve Harmison also looked out of sorts in two wayward six-over spells on a pitch which had lost most of its early life.
With a day and a half lost to rain, there was not enough wear in the surface for the spinners to play a big part, although Ian Blackwell had Lyth stumped to end a stand of 95 with Gale.
When Jonathan Bairstow was run out two overs later Yorkshire were 160 for four in early afternoon, still 63 adrift. But Durham were flagging by tea, when the visitors were nine runs ahead.
Durham took two wickets after a brief morning shower. Lyth put on 50 for the first wicket with Joe Root, who made 28 before he fell lbw to a shooter from Graham Onions.
Anthony McGrath’s struggles continued when he departed for a duck, caught down the leg side off Harmison, but the only other wobble came with the loss of Lyth and Bairstow in quick succession.
Lyth reached 50 off 100 balls, with six fours, by driving Blackwell through extra-cover for three. But, after adding five to his previous best this season of 64, he stretched forward and was smartly stumped by Mustard.
Bairstow was run out when he played the ball to midwicket and set off before hesitating. He was beaten by Dale Benkenstein’s throw to the non-striker’s end.