Yorkshire 430 (Gale 164, Bairstow 139, Leach 4-139) and 157 for 3 (Bairstow 74*, Lees 58*) beat Worcestershire 280 (Clarke 88, Patterson 3-34) and 306 (Whiteley 101, Brooks 3-41) by seven wickets
Scorecard

Jonny Bairstow celebrated his Ashes call-up with a dashing innings that helped propel Yorkshire to a seven-wicket victory over Worcestershire on the final day of their Championship match at Scarborough.

It was the first time since 1998 that Yorkshire had won five consecutive matches in a season in the competition and it further strengthened the title-holders' position at the top of the table.

Worcestershire made them fight every inch of the way for their success and for a while they were even able to contemplate victory themselves as the home side slumped to 44 for 3 in their chase towards a 157 target. But then Bairstow, in the best form of his career and brimming with confidence, strode to the crease and was soon delighting the 2000 crowd with shots to all parts of the North Marine Road ground.

Bairstow battered an unbeaten 74 off 51 balls with nine fours and three sixes during an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 113 in 17 overs with Alex Lees, who finished on 58 not out. The wicketkeeper-batsman has now thrashed 980 runs at an average of 108.88 in his 12 Championship knocks, with one double-century, four centuries and four half-centuries.

"It was another great knock today from Jonny Bairstow and we all wish him well and hope he scores lots of runs for England," Yorkshire's coach, Jason Gillespie, said. "He is playing good cricket, the ball is in his court and I am delighted he has got his opportunity."

After Worcestershire had been bowled out for 306, the second highest second-innings score against Yorkshire this season, they soon claimed a wicket as Will Rhodes skied Saeed Ajmal's second ball to deep mid-on where Jack Shantry held on to a well-judged catch.

Yorkshire were 34 for 1 at lunch, Lees having driven Joe Leach for an early six, but soon after the interval they suffered a double setback, Jack Leaning being trapped lbw by Charlie Morris and captain Andrew Gale run out when sent back by Lees.

With light rain falling for a short while, Bairstow went on the charge, driving Ajmal over long-on for six and being so eager to advance that he chased a delivery which slipped out of Morris's hand and bounced several times wide on the off side before belting it through the covers for four.

Bairstow walloped three fours off consecutive balls from Ajmal and successive boundaries against Shantry, bringing up his half-century from 39 balls with five fours and two sixes. Both Bairstow and Lees cleared the rope again as Lees completed his first 50 in 14 Championship innings, off 79 deliveries, and it was all over at 2.55pm with 47 overs to spare.

Resuming on 221 for 6 in the morning, with a 71 lead, Worcestershire continued to take the fight to their opponents and Ross Whiteley moved his overnight 65 on to 101 before falling lbw to Ryan Sidebottom soon after the new ball had been taken. He had faced 139 balls and struck 14 fours and a six on his way to his best score for Worcestershire and his highest since a career-best 130 not out for Derbyshire against Kent in September 2011.

Even with his departure to make it 280 for 9, Worcestershire were not entirely finished because Ajmal and Morris put on 26 for the last wicket. It meant that Yorkshire still had some work to do and there were anxious moments ahead until Bairstow and Lees got cracking.

"Obviously I am very pleased to come away with full points but this was still not our best performance, I have to acknowledge that," Gillespie said. "We had one big partnership in the first innings and a century stand in the second but we have still not nailed our partnerships.

"I thought we were poor with the ball on the third day before just making our opponents follow-on and we have to focus on the process of how to get it right. We seem to drift sometimes when we take our foot off the gas.

"It is a nice position to be in at the top of the table but there is still a lot of cricket to be played and we have six games remaining. We need to make sure we maintain our standards and respect the form we are in even though we are not at our best. The race for the Championship is not over yet and we can only control what we do and not what other teams do."