Adil Rashid claimed his best figures at Headingley for four years as Yorkshire gave themselves their best chance of winning a rain-affected First Division contest by dismissing Durham cheaply enough to enforce the follow-on.
The 26-year-old leg-spinner may never become the Test bowler for which many still believe he has the talent and he has endured a lean season up to this point, but on a dry pitch under a hot sun Rashid demonstrated that he can at least make a significant contribution to Yorkshire’s title ambitions.
He finished with 4 for 73 as Durham were bowled out for 231 in reply to Yorkshire’s 426, which allowed the home side’s captain, Andrew Gale, pressing for a win that would put his side 16 points ahead at the top of the First Division table, to make Durham bat again.
Paul Collingwood, the Durham captain, expressed disappointment with the pitch. “Every four inches there’s a hole,” he said. “It’s starting to get more and more variable and it’s turning more than we expected it to. I’m surprised that Yorkshire have taken a punt by preparing a pitch like that in such a big match,” Collingwood added. “But hey, hats off if the pitch inspectors don’t come in and see it as a dangerous pitch. They are on top, so well done to them.”
The figures were Rashid’s best at Headingley since he took nine in a match against Warwickshire in July 2010 and helped make up for the loss of time on day two, when most of the last two sessions succumbed to rain.
Durham lost only one wicket in the first 100 minutes of the morning session, with Keaton Jennings completing a 122-ball half-century, but their good work was wasted when three wickets fell in five overs before lunch.
Rashid claimed the last of those when Michael Richardson chipped back a tame return catch to the last ball of the session and, bowling unchanged through the afternoon, added to his haul when Phil Mustard turned the ball into the hands of short leg,
John Hastings was caught at first slip off a delivery that popped up, and Paul Coughlin, who had got off the mark with a six over long-on, was caught attempting the same shot.
Collingwood, with typically gritty defiance, batted for two and a half hours to be unbeaten on 64. Following on, Durham lost one wicket before the close when the part-time off-spinner Adam Lyth bowled Jennings off stump, and closed 136 behind.
Somerset, who need a win over Middlesex to stay in title contention, declared at 264 for 9, 74 runs behind in the hope of being granted a sporting target to chase at Uxbridge.
Meanwhile, Surrey strengthened their promotion challenge in the Second Division with a nine-wicket win over Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay, Matthew Dunn taking four wickets as the home side were dismissed for 398.