YORKSHIRE captain Andrew Gale admitted his frustration after Yorkshire missed opportunities to set up a winning position on another rain-affected day against Nottinghamshire at Headingley.
Further bad light and rain ruled out another 20.3 overs from the third day’s allocation and allowed Nottinghamshire to re-group successfully to ensure the outcome of the match remains in the balance after reaching 102-2 by the close, leading by 60 runs.
While Yorkshire still have a chance of forcing victory on the final day, their situation could have been so much better had they batted with greater discipline and established a greater first innings lead.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the way the game’s gone, really,” conceded Gale. “I thought we got into positions with the bat when we could probably could have taken it away from them."
Resuming 129 runs adrift on 76-2 in bright sunshine, Yorkshire’s mission was immediately undermined by the loss of four wickets inside the first 14 overs of the day.
Jack Leaning played a loose drive and was bowled by Luke Fletcher, Gale pushed at Peter Siddle and was well caught by Samit Patel at second slip, Jonny Bairstow chipped to short mid-wicket and Adil Rashid edged Andre Adams to slip.
It left Yorkshire struggling to stay in the game at 128-6 when Tim Bresnan joined Aaron Finch at the crease. They responded by knuckling down and added 56 that took Yorkshire to the brink of parity.
But just as they looked set to post a match-winning first innings total, they lost both batsmen in the space of seven overs after lunch with Bresnan giving Siddle his fourth wicket by edging to fourth slip and Finch’s two hours at the crease for his 45 ended when Patel’s left arm spin found turn and beat his defensive lunge.
They were fortunate to have chosen a long batting line-up, with Richard Pyrah coming in at number nine and adding 45 off as many balls before his positive play backfired when he swept Patel to backward square and the innings subsided.
Having secured a 42-run first innings lead, Yorkshire broke through with the new ball with Bresnan winning an lbw decision against Alex Hales after he unwisely shouldered arms, while former Yorkshire batsman Phil Jaques edged behind after being surprised by Steve Patterson’s bounce from the Rugby Stand End.
Just as they would have hoped to make further inroads, however, clouds closed in and forced Gale to bowl Rashid’s leg-spin and Finch’s left-arm spin for six overs before the umpires took the players off the field for an hour.
It was enough to allow Nottinghamshire to re-group and by the close former Yorkshire batsman Michael Lumb and James Taylor had forged an unbroken 72-run stand, the biggest partnership of the match.