Rashid's best continues run-scoring spree
Somerset 92 for 1 (Trescothick 53) trail Yorkshire 505 for 9 dec (Rashid 180, Ballance 107, Trego 4-107) by 413 runs
Yorkshire followers have been spoilt of late. Not only have they been winning matches, but they've been winning them in style, with both bat and ball. On this occasion they were given more typical Yorkshire virtues: grit and pragmatism. They still saw another total of over 500, but there was less flair about its accumulation than in the victories against Durham and Derbyshire.
The start of play was delayed for an hour by bad light and a little rain. Adil Rashid was 120 not out overnight, and he was to stay at the wicket until Andrew Gale declared at the fall of the ninth wicket. He was patient - he batted for exactly seven hours - but when the opportunity arose he was ruthless through the off side, and his wristy flicks off his pads were easy on the eye.
He went past his previous highest score of 157 without any alarms, and when he was finally out for 180 he had reached exactly 4000 first-class runs. Rashid has reportedly settled his grievances with Yorkshire having gone public with a view that he has lacked support from the club, and this innings might launch his season.
Rashid's principal allies were Nos. 9 and 10, Rich Pyrah and Jack Brooks. Pyrah took guard shortly before lunch, and announced his intentions immediately after by taking four boundaries off a Peter Trego over: a leg glance, two sumptuous extra cover drives, and a streaky one through the slips. When he stepped away to leg and tried to chop behind square, losing his off stump, he had 55 of a stand of 79.
Brooks has one first-class 50 and this innings suggested that it might not be his last. Two leg side sixes off successive balls by left-arm spinner Jack Leach took Yorkshire past 500 in successive innings.
The main burden of the Somerset bowling was shouldered by Trego and Steve Kirby. Both conceded over a hundred runs, but at reasonable economy rates and they shared seven of the nine wickets to fall.
At the start of the Somerset innings Tim Bresnan, who was being given the once over by Test selector James Whitaker, bowled with real menace, especially to Marcus Trescothick whose bottom hand he hit hard with a ball that rose sharply from a length. Both openers survived confident appeals for caught behind; Nick Compton off Brooks and Trescothick off Pyrah. Brooks in particular was, to put it mildly, very disappointed, and umpire George Sharp wisely had a quiet word with him at the end of the over.
There was a lot of playing and missing as the ball moved in the air and occasionally off the pitch, but Compton and Trescothick played with the composure you would expect of Test opening batsmen. Trescothick reached his fifty off 114 balls with 10 boundaries, but was trapped next ball by Brooks, bowling from what is clearly his favoured Kirkstall Lane End.
The rain promised never materialised, but the forecast for the third day is worse and if time is lost a positive result might be difficult to achieve although the way Yorkshire have played in recent weeks you can never tell.