Yorkshire 207 for 3 (Lyth 116*, Gale 61) trail Surrey 267 (S Curran 59*, Davies 56, Finch 52) by 60 runs
England's erstwhile Test opener Adam Lyth hit an unbeaten century as Yorkshire edged toward parity going into the final day of their rain-ruined Specsavers County Championship clash with Surrey.
The 28-year-old left-hander from Whitby defied Surrey's attack and a gloomy afternoon in south-east London to reach 116 not out for his part in a third-wicket stand with Andrew Gale (61) that added 150 and helped cut the first innings deficit to 60.
With Yorkshire on 207 for 3, a positive fourth-day result appears unlikely on a pitch at The Kia Oval that has grown flatter by the hour, but Lyth must have been quietly pleased with his timely display on the eve of the first Investec Test against Pakistan.
Responding by the mid-session to Surrey's 267 all out, the championship title-holders initially stumbled to 47 for 2 within 13 overs. They lost Alex Lees (15) in the eighth over who, having plundered a brace of boundaries off Sam Curran, was undone by one that trimmed off stump to make it 28 for 1.
Jack Leaning soon followed without scoring when he went back to cut Stuart Meaker's first-ball loosener, only to chop a short delivery onto the base of his off stump.
Yorkshire re-grouped nicely through Lyth and Gale, the former moving sweetly to a 70-ball 50 after rocking back to punch through the covers for four against the bowling of Gareth Batty.
Batty suffered again after tea when Lyth, who won the last of his seven England caps against Australia here almost a year ago, pulled a long-hop into the lower echelons of the OCS Stand for the first six of the match, then, after a short break for bad light, he danced down the pitch to deposit one from Zafar Ansari into the Pavilion seats for another maximum.
He reached his 19th first-class century with a pulled boundary to fine leg off a Meaker bouncer. He reached three figures off 159 balls and hit 11 fours and a brace of sixes.
At the other end, Gale was content to play second fiddle, posting a 131-ball fifty - his first of the campaign - that, whilst ensuring his side could not lose this match, also maintained their slim chances of pushing for a last-day victory. The Yorkshire captain fell five overs from the scheduled close when feathering one from Tom Curran into the gloves of Ben Foakes for a season's best 61, leaving Lyth to go into the final day with power to add.
At the start of the third day, Yorkshire needed a shade over two hours to mop up Surrey's five remaining first innings wickets.
With the hosts nine wickets down at 1pm, umpires Martin Saggers and Neil Bainton had just sanctioned an additional 30 minutes when, three deliveries later, Meaker (4) nibbled to first slip to end the innings at 267 and leave top-scorer Sam Curran undefeated on 59.
Surrey had made a poor start when, without addition to their overnight score and to only the fourth delivery of the day, Foakes steered one from Steven Patterson to second slip where Lyth pocketed the catch to make it 164 for 6.
Steve Davies raised a 69-ball half-century as he and Sam Curran added 75 in tandem but, with his score on 56, the former England keeper went lbw to one from Tim Bresnan that appeared to cut back in to the left-hander.
Curran posted his 50 from 82 balls but, moments later his brother Tom fell lbw after rocking back when aiming to leg against Adil Rashid.
Four balls later Batty fell in similar fashion without troubling the scorers enabling Yorkshire to bank their third bowling bonus point.
Surrey vs Yorkshire
England Domestic Season
Specsavers County Championship Division One