Durham v Yorkshire, Chester-le-Street, 4th day June 21, 2011

Gale ton carries Yorkshire to safety

Yorkshire 185 and 280 for 4 dec drew with Durham 408 for 8 dec

A defiant century by Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale carried his side to safety against County Championship leaders Durham as the rain-shortened match was shortened at Chester-le-Street.

Gale's second century of the season came off 192 balls and he was unbeaten on 101 at the close of play with Yorkshire 57 ahead on 280 for 4. But they took only two bonus points from the match, compared with Durham's maximum of eight, and slipped to next to bottom courtesy of Worcestershire's win against Hampshire.

Adam Lyth made his season's best score of 69 and the third left-hander, Gary Ballance, contributed 53 to an unbroken stand of 120. The only chance given by either of the fifth-wicket pair came with Ballance on 23, when Gordon Muchall was unable to hang on to a sharp head-high chance just to his left at first slip off Callum Thorp.

Gale was very composed in an innings which spanned almost four hours, looking solid in defence while also hitting 15 fours. Durham were not helped by the absence of Paul Collingwood who was ruled out with a groin injury picked up while making a century yesterday.

Steve Harmison also looked out of sorts in two wayward six-over spells on a pitch which had lost most of its early life. With a day and a half lost to rain, there was not enough wear in the surface for the spinners to play a big part, although Ian Blackwell did have Lyth stumped to end a stand of 95 with Gale.

When Jonny Bairstow was run out two overs later Yorkshire were 160 for four in early afternoon, still 63 adrift. But Durham were flagging by tea, when the visitors were nine runs ahead. Only eight minutes play were lost to a light shower at 11.30 and shortly after the resumption Durham took two wickets.

Lyth put on 50 for the first wicket with Joe Root, who made 28 before he fell lbw to a shooter from Graham Onions. Anthony McGrath's struggles continued when he departed for a duck, following a leg-side ball from Harmison and providing Phil Mustard with a catch.

But the only other wobble came with the loss of Lyth and Bairstow in quick succession. Lyth reached 50 off 100 balls, with six fours, by driving Blackwell through extra cover for three. But after adding five to his previous best this season of 64 he stretched forward and was smartly stumped by Mustard.

Bairstow's run out came when he played the ball to mid-wicket and set off before hesitating when Gale was committed. Dale Benkenstein whipped the ball in to beat Bairstow to the non-striker's end.