Yorkshire needed only two overs first thing to remove the threat Ian Bell would have hoped to pose but their plans to rush through Warwickshire's first innings in good time to make serious inroads second time around reckoned without Jonathan Trott and Jeetan Patel engineering a record-breaking counter-attack.
Their unbroken partnership of 181, displacing the 154 scored by George Stephens and Alfred Croom against Derbyshire here in 1925 as Warwickshire's highest for the ninth wicket, not only gave the home side, once 138 for 6 in reply to 600 for 8, an unexpected full hand of batting points but leaves them with hopes of securing an unlikely draw.
Trott, who was given a lifeline on 26 when he was dropped behind the stumps off Ajmal Shahzad, is on 140 after completing his 16th first-class hundred. The New Zealand spin bowler Patel, on his Championship debut, has a career-best 89.
Their exploits overshadowed Bell, who had shared Michael Vaughan's desire for runs here to keep Ravi Bopara from thinking the England No 3 slot is his for keeps. Unbeaten on 33 overnight, Bell looked to have given himself a platform but added only four more before paying for a loose stroke against Deon Kruis, caught by a diving Shahzad at wide mid-wicket.
When Rana Naved, who arrived in England only last weekend after Yorkshire set a deadline for him to resolve problems over his work permit, then took three wickets in an explosive burst, it appeared the home side's efforts to reach 451 merely to avoid the follow-on would fail miserably.
Dismissing Ian Westwood for 41 with one that jagged back into the Warwickshire captain's pads, Naved then conjured a near-perfect swinging yorker to send Jim Troughton packing first ball. Tim Ambrose denied him a hat-trick but survived only until Naved's next over, unable to avoid a nibble outside off-stump, eagerly snapped up by wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy.
Even with frequent showers rattling through on a wind fierce enough to blow the bails off, Yorkshire looked handsomely positioned, more so when the pacy Shahzad produced a tasty yorker of his own to knock back Rikki Clarke's leg stump, having already shaken up the batsman with a ball that struck him on the thumb.
This suggested the pitch was becoming less than trustworthy, which made it all the more surprising that the next four hours were dominated by batsmen as Yorkshire's bowlers surrendered the upper hand.
Significant too was the support Trott had received from Neil Carter and Chris Woakes in building Warwickshire's momentum as Yorkshire ran out of ideas. Taking 12 wickets on the last day may prove beyond them.