Yorkshire fade after Root falls
Yorkshire stepped off the pedal after working their way into a promising position on the third day of their LV= County Championship match against Sussex at Scarborough, and a draw now looks like the most probable result.
With centurion Joe Root and Gary Ballance continuing to build on their big stand this morning, Yorkshire looked well placed to take maximum batting bonus points while building up a useful lead.
But they somehow lost their way after 20-year-old Root had been dismissed in controversial circumstances for a sparkling 160, and they were bowled out for 388 to trail by 10 on first innings.
Ed Joyce and Chris Nash got Sussex off to a solid start and at stumps the visitors were 126 for three with an overall lead of 136.
Root was already 111 and Ballance 45 when Yorkshire resumed on 251 for four, and Ballance enjoyed a piece of luck in the first over from Monty Panesar when wicketkeeper Ben Brown was unable to hold on to an edge.
Luke Wells joined Panesar to make it an all-spin attack for a while, but the fifth-wicket pair soon took their stand into three figures before Ballance completed his seventh half-century in the last eight championship matches.
Both batsmen were in the same fluent form they had shown the previous day and Root’s 150 came up off 270 balls with 25 fours.
Ten runs and 20 deliveries later, however, he attempted to flick a second consecutive four off Wayne Parnell, but Amjad Khan dashed round at long-leg and got his hand right hand under the ball.
A split second later he threw it away in jubilation while tumbling to the ground and many spectators close to the action felt that he had not held the ball long enough for the catch to be considered under control.
Umpires Trevor Jesty and Nick Cook conferred but agreed that the catch was legitimate and Root walked slowly off after his marathon stay of six hours and 22 minutes. His fifth-wicket stand with Ballance was worth 189.
Suddenly, Yorkshire seemed to lose their momentum. Ballance, chasing his maiden championship century, fell for 87 to the first ball after lunch, a short one from Parnell which he pulled straight to James Anyon at deep backward square-leg.
It was a disappointing end for the left-hander, who faced 191 balls and struck 13 fours and a six.
There was another fielding incident when Adil Rashid drover Panesar to deep mid-off where Parnell, running in, appeared to claim a low catch, but this time the umpires ruled he had not taken it cleanly.
It did not matter, however, because two balls later Rashid sliced to Kirk Wernars at point.
There was little inclination on Yorkshire’s part to end the innings with a flourish and the last three wickets were soon mopped up by Amjad Khan, who finished with 4-70.
Knowing that a draw would keep them well clear of the relegation zone, Sussex were not prepared to take any undue risks, although Joyce hit Richard Pyrah for six over midwicket and, in reaching 29, celebrated 1,000 championship runs for the season.
Ryan Sidebottom made the breakthrough with the score on 62 by having Joyce caught behind for 42, and Steven Patterson picked up his first wicket of the match when he trapped Nash lbw for 32.
Luke Wells and Murray Goodwin continued to keep Yorkshire’s attack at bay until late in the day, when Wells turned Rashid into Anthony McGrath’s hands at leg slip.