Andrew Gale takes the pain to put Yorkshire in sight of gain

Yorkshire 253 & 400-5 Middlesex 232

North Marine Road

Yorkshire’s captain, Andrew Gale, completed his second century of an inconsistent season but faces a critical decision over the timing of his declaration if it is to be the basis of a victory in a match they need to win to regain pole position in the Championship race.

His side has a lead of 421 going into the final day, having resisted any temptation to expose Middlesex to a burst of Ryan Sidebottom before last night’s close in Scarborough, no doubt wary of being too generous, given that Middlesex scored 472 in the fourth innings at Lord’s in April to beat Yorkshire. Whether 96 overs today, assuming a declaration overnight, will be enough for Yorkshire to bowl out Middlesex after only four wickets fell on day three remains to be seen.

Gale’s century was both a popular and painful one on a ground where he now has four hundreds, including his career-best 272 against Nottinghamshire last season. This one, which had spanned more than four hours and included 13 fours when he left the field 126 not out, saw him dropped from a difficult chance at point on 40, hit on the left thumb on 46 and the left elbow on 97, both blows inflicted by the England bowler Steven Finn.

With Middlesex’s bowlers not able to do much with the ball in much fresher conditions, Yorkshire added 117 runs at not far short of four an over with no wickets lost in the morning session, with Kane Williamson and Alex Lees completing half-centuries.

They suffered a double setback early in the afternoon session, when Williamson and Lees departed in turn inside the first five overs, both falling to Tim Murtagh. Williamson, shaping to cut, top-edged a ball that climbed on him and the towering Ollie Rayner managed to pluck it out of the air at first slip. Then Lees, pushing forward, edged low to second slip, where Dawid Malan claimed the catch. The pair added 132 in just under 40 overs.

Jonny Bairstow fell for 32, top-edging a pull off Toby Roland-Jones to be caught at long leg. However, Gale received impressive support from 20-year-old Jack Leaning, who batted with care and composure before unleashing a sequence of impressive blows towards the close, hitting three sixes in the space of four balls faced, against Finn, Rayner and Malan, finally to be stumped off Malan for 76, the end of a stand of 182.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test