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Ballance and Sidebottom offer resistance

Sussex CCC

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A defiant eighth-wicket stand of 81 between Gary Ballance and Ryan Sidebottom unexpectedly allowed Yorkshire's LV= County Championship Division One clash against Sussex at Headingley to go into the fourth and final day.

Sidebottom departed after resisting for 29 overs and, when bad light ended proceedings shortly afterwards, the White Rose were 228 for eight, still requiring a further 32 to make the visitors bat again.

Yorkshire still face the very real prospect of losing their first championship game in 19 outings, their last defeat being at Headingley against Warwickshire in August 2011.

Murky morning weather delayed the start until 1:20pm, at which point Yorkshire resumed their second innings on 27 for one, still 233 runs adrift.

Left-handers Adam Lyth and Phil Jaques briefly gave hope of a batting revival, the latter cutting Steve Magoffin hard for four and the former boosting his confidence with consecutive boundaries off James Anyon.

However, with the second wicket stand worth 56, Lyth flicked a leg-side ball from Anyon into Ben Brown's gloves.

Skipper Andrew Gale clipped his first delivery through midwicket for three but, in the same over, did not use his feet against Anyon and steered to captain Ed Joyce at third slip.

Another useful stand developed between Jaques and Jonny Bairstow, who pulled and cut Anyon for boundaries and drove Chris Jordan through mid-off for four.

Jaques completed his half-century from 75 balls with seven fours, yet Bairstow was the fourth man to depart, missing a full-length ball from Jordan which rattled his stumps.

It was Magoffin, however, who dealt the biggest blow by sending down a fine delivery which Jaques had to play at; he only succeeded in edging a slip catch to Michael Yardy, his 57 coming off 99 balls.

The paceman struck again with his next delivery, which Azeem Rafiq inside edged into his stumps. Although Liam Plunkett survived the hat-trick ball, he also fell to Magoffin soon after tea, playing down the wrong line to be bowled.

At 140 for seven, the hosts were in deep trouble.

Ballance showed plenty of spirit, though, and was ably supported by Sidebottom - who loosened Monty Panesar's tight grip by swinging him over midwicket for six after Ballance had swept the left-arm spinner for four earlier in the over.

The eighth-wicket pair were showing the sort of resolve too often lacking by Yorkshire for much of the contest and Sidebottom again hammered Panesar through midwicket to raise the fifty stand.

However, he was eventually caught by Jordan at first slip off Anyon for 48 having struck four fours and a six.

The light deteriorated rapidly thereafter and the players came off at 228 for eight with nine overs remaining, leaving Ballance unbeaten on 46 from 113 balls with five boundaries.

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