RYAN SIDEBOTTOM took seven wickets in a first-class innings for the second time in his career as Yorkshire claimed the initiative at the halfway stage of their LV= County Championship match against Middlesex at Scarborough.
Sidebottom’s 7-44 from 17 overs was the main reason why Middlesex, in reply to 253, were bowled out for 232 in 67.
That left Yorkshire with 13 overs of batting to do in their second innings before close, and they built on their 21-run lead by reaching 29-1. First-innings centurion Adam Lyth fell to Tim Murtagh, caught at second slip.
Yorkshire should have been in a far better position than they are because Sidebottom’s first three wickets, coming either side of lunch, blew Middlesex’s top order away as they slipped to 11-4 in the early stages of the afternoon.
But a fine 110 from wicketkeeper Jon Simpson and 78 for fellow left-hander Dawid Malan put the game back in the balance, with the pair sharing 168 in 43 overs for the fifth wicket through the majority of the afternoon and deep into the evening.
"I was battling towards the end," said a tired Sidebottom, who came off with one wicket required for a career best eight-for and Middlesex nine down.
"It's always nice to contribute, especially at an important time and here because it’s a special place. To be up on that board means a lot with dad up there. To get another seven, I'm delighted.
“They were getting on top of us. Malan and Simpson put on a really good partnership there, and we were staring down the barrel of what was looking like 300 or 350.
"To get those vitals wickets at a telling stage was really nice. It's a big third day for us. There's still plenty in the wicket, so if we bat well and get 250 or 300, we're in with a chance.”
Jonny Bairstow will be mighty frustrated that he let slip a regulation chance behind the stumps with Malan on seven just after lunch. The score was 11-3 at the time.
Having looked in danger of not reaching the follow-on target of 104 as Sidebottom got extravagant swing, the visitors were now eyeing a first-innings lead.
Thankfully from Yorkshire’s point of view, Sidebottom returned from the Trafalgar Square End - he had his early success from the Peasholm Park End - to tip the balance back in their favour.
Having earlier got Chris Rogers and Eoin Morgan caught behind for ducks and Paul Stirling caught at third slip, he had Malan, Toby Roland-Jones and Murtagh caught at second slip by Lyth and Ollie Rayner lbw.
Middlesex being 11-4 was not the only dominant position Yorkshire let slip because, after Lyth hit 117 and became the first division one batsman to post 1,000 runs this season, they fell from 177-2 to lose their last eight wickets for 76.
The last four of those went in the morning for 19 in conditions which favoured the bowlers.
Yorkshire v Middlesex
(Middlesex won toss)
Yorkshire First Innings
A Lyth c Malan b Helm 117
A Z Lees c Simpson b Roland-Jones 28
K S Williamson b Finn 14
A W Gale c Rogers b Finn 30
J M Bairstow b Helm 5
J A Leaning b Roland-Jones 2
A U Rashid c Malan b Finn 15
T T Bresnan c Morgan b Finn 20
S A Patterson lbw b T J Murtagh 4
R J Sidebottom c Rogers b T J Murtagh 2
J A Brooks not out 0
Extras (b4 lb8 nb4) 16
Total (87.5 overs) 253
Fall: 1-49 2-92 3-177 4-204 5-207 6-211 7-234 8-241 9-253.
Bowling: T J Murtagh 20-4-51-2, Finn 19.5-3-81-4, Helm 15-3-30-2, Roland-Jones 18-2-55-2, Rayner 15-3-24-0.
Middlesex First Innings
C J L Rogers c Bairstow b Sidebottom 0
N R T Gubbins lbw b Patterson 0
D J Malan c Lyth b Sidebottom 78
E J G Morgan c Bairstow b Sidebottom 0
P R Stirling c Williamson b Sidebottom 4
J A Simpson run out 110
O P Rayner lbw b Sidebottom 6
T S Roland-Jones c Lyth b Sidebottom 9
T G Helm not out 11
T J Murtagh c Lyth b Sidebottom 2
S T Finn c Williamson b A U Rashid 9
Extras (lb1 nb2) 3
Total (67 overs) 232
Fall: 1-0 2-4 3-7 4-11 5-179 6-195 7-209 8-210 9-217.
Bowling: Sidebottom 17-3-44-7, Brooks 15-6-53-0, Patterson 14-7-41-1, Bresnan 15-4-58-0, Williamson 2-1-5-0, A U Rashid 4-0-30-1.
Yorkshire Second Innings
A Lyth c Malan b T J Murtagh 9
A Z Lees not out 10
K S Williamson not out 10
Total 1 wkt (13 overs) 29
Bowling: T J Murtagh 6-3-12-1, Finn 4-2-9-0, Roland-Jones 2-1-8-0, Rayner 1-1-0-0.