Ballance defies Panesar to ensure draw
Yorkshire 273 and 314 for 8 (f/o) drew with Sussex 548 for 4 dec
Sussex's Monty Panesar claimed his first five-wicket haul of the season but Gary Ballance led a determined rearguard action to earn Yorkshire a draw in their Division One clash at Hove. Panesar claimed 5 for 89 - the second five-wicket haul of his Sussex career - but Zimbabwean Ballance batted for more than four hours for his unbeaten 73 to steer Yorkshire to safety on 314 for 8, a lead of 39 when the players shook hands.
Yorkshire began the day still 246 behind and their hopes of survival looked slim, but Andrew Gale and Anthony McGrath survived for 70 minutes although skipper Gale was badly dropped at third slip by Kirk Wernars off fellow South African Wayne Parnell.
McGrath looked to be settling in for a long vigil but having hit eight fours and helped add 53 in 15 overs with his captain, he played fatally back to Panesar's arm ball in the 29th over for 44. McGrath has yet to lodge a Championship half-century this season.
Panesar, exploiting some rough on a wearing pitch, struck again 15 balls before lunch when Gale, who never looked comfortable against the left-arm spin, was bowled around his legs. Jonny Bairstow refused to be tied down, though, and either side of lunch he took the attack back to Panesar with some impressive drives on both sides of the wicket.
He struck Panesar for successive fours to move to his half-century and then Panesar conceded 18 runs in one over including two wides as his control briefly deserted him. Yorkshire scored 58 in nine overs after lunch as left-hander Ballance joined Bairstow in a fifth-wicket stand of 78 in 18 overs.
But Bairstow played one aggressive shot too many and was caught off a top-edged sweep by Wernars, running in from the square-leg boundary, to give Panesar his third wicket. His 76 contained 14 fours and a six. Ballance settled for long periods of watchful defence, both against the spin of Panesar and Chris Nash's off breaks, and then stood firm when Sussex took the second new ball.
Panesar returned to remove Adil Rashid with the first ball after tea after he helped Ballance add 68 in 20 overs for the sixth wicket, the otherwise inconsistent Amjad Khan trapped Ajmal Shahzad lbw and when Panesar bowled Ryan Sidebottom through the gate there were still 15 overs remaining for Sussex to take the remaining two wickets and force victory.
But No. 10 Steve Patterson survived 41 balls with Ballance as Yorkshire stopped the rot after successive away defeats in the Championship. Ballance's 73 came from 207 balls, with eight fours and two sixes.