Yorkshire v Worcestershire, Scarborough, 3rd day July 13, 2011

Root and Bairstow steady Yorkshire chase

Yorkshire 367 and 80 for 3 and Worcestershire 168 and 332

Yorkshire remain well placed to earn an County Championship double over fellow strugglers Worcestershire although the hosts made heavy weather of their task on the third day at Scarborough.

Chasing 134 for victory after stubborn resistance from the visitors took Worcestershire to a second-innings 332, Yorkshire closed on 80 for 3, 53 runs behind.

Worcestershire were in big trouble on 82 for 4 at the start of the day, still trailing by 117 after the hosts posted 367 to establish a 199-run first-innings advantage. But the visitors refused to throw in the towel, with skipper Daryl Mitchell and James Cameron taking few risks against the pace of Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan.

The fifth-wicket pair had just batted through the first hour when Cameron drove at a full-length ball from Ajmal Shahzad and Adil Rashid held on at third slip. Mitchell got stuck on 46 for an hour before cover-driving Richard Pyrah to reach his half-century with his ninth boundary.

Gareth Andrew was then put down when on 15 by Rashid, who split his right index finger in dropping the fairly straightforward chance and spent spells off the field either side of lunch.

Worcestershire lost another wicket before lunch when Pyrah bowled Mitchell through the gate for 55 from 141 balls with 10 fours. After the break, Scott was clean bowled by a splendid yorker from Shahzad to end his resistance on nine.

Saeed Ajmal shrugged off a blow to the side of his face from Bresnan to hit Shahzad for a legside boundary to finally wipe out the arrears, but Andrew then spoiled a neatly compiled half-century by slashing wildly at a loose ball from Pyrah to be caught behind for 57.

Yorkshire were not making things easy for themselves, however, and Saeed Ajmal should have departed for 19 only for Gary Ballance to grass the chance at second slip, his third drop of the match.

That escape allowed Ajmal and Jack Shantry to take their stand to 54 in 11 overs before Ajmal fell to a great delivery from Pyrah for 47, the ball seaming off the edge of the bat to Jonny Bairstow.

Worcestershire, at 270 for 9, still had plenty of fight left in them and the last-wicket pair of Shantry and Richardson went on the rampage, aided by further bad fielding lapses.

The hapless Ballance fluffed another chance in the slips when he dropped Shantry on 21 off Bresnan, and the batsman celebrated the return of Shahzad by smashing his first ball back over the bowler's head for four and also taking boundaries off the next two deliveries.

Shantry sailed past his previous best knock of 13 not out and runs flowed as Yorkshire and their fans became increasingly frustrated. The score had rattled on to 332, with the last-wicket stand worth 62, when Sidebottom bowled Richardson for 31 just before tea. Shantry's unbeaten 47 came off 73 balls with eight fours.

Yorkshire began their run chase after the interval and soon suffered a setback as Adam Lyth was run out by a direct hit at the bowler's end from Alan Richardson after Joe Root had called for a second run.

Root then edged Ajmal to slip where he was dropped by Mitchell with the score on 19, and Yorkshire were put under further pressure on 29 when Anthony McGrath fell lbw to Richardson, whose 11-over opening spell conceded only 15 runs.

A well-flighted ball by Ajmal lured Andrew Gale forward for him to be stumped by Scott but Root stayed calm under pressure and will begin the final day on 31, with Bairstow unbeaten on 12.