Yorkshire build on Williamson’s fortune to put vital win in reach

Sussex 368 & 98-4 (Wright 56 not out; Sidebottom 2-8). Yorkshire 493 (Williamson 189, Bairstow 77)

Kane Williamson, whose controversial reprieve on 16 was Saturday’s talking point, deepened Sussex’s sense of injustice with a superb 189 to give Yorkshire the chance of a vital win on the ground where their title bid unravelled a year ago, with Sussex four down and still 27 runs behind going into the final day.

Sussex, who began this round in fifth place, do not really expect to be in contention for the Championship, so it may be more the likes of Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire who suffer the consequences of the New Zealander’s non-dismissal.

Williamson had been invited by the umpires to continue his innings after querying whether a catch claimed by James Tredwell at second slip carried. Tredwell was adamant it had but neither Graham Lloyd nor Peter Hartley could be sure and Williamson’s hesitant walk towards the pavilion was aborted.

How Yorkshire milked their good fortune. They were 55 for 2 when the incident happened, and five down overnight, still 110 behind. A poor first hour yesterday might have left Yorkshire worrying about an untimely defeat.

Instead, Adil Rashid was the only casualty until Tim Bresnan gave a return catch to Luke Wells just before tea, after a stand with Williamson worth 157, which was put together briskly enough to ensure maximum batting points for Yorkshire.

Williamson, having completed his first century in first-class matches for Yorkshire amid some sarcastic applause from some Sussex fielders, had barely made an error and the match had lurched heavily in Yorkshire’s favour. 

Steve Patterson became a second victim for Wells, who held another caught and bowled to finally see off Williamson, but then Jack Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom produced a late flurry of shots to push the total to 493.

Tails up, Yorkshire’s new-ball pair shared three wickets in the first 10 overs. A rapid half-century by Luke Wright makes it almost certain Yorkshire will have to bat again but it will be an opportunity missed if they fail to win.

Sidebottom beat an extravagant drive by Wells and had Ed Joyce leg before, in between which Brooks had Chris Nash caught behind. When Tim Bresnan had Craig Cachopa caught at second slip, Sussex were 48 for 4.