A draw with Durham was enough to return Yorkshire to the top of Division One of the County Championship, but Andrew Gale’s side may rue the missed chance to open up a bigger lead over second-placed Nottinghamshire.
Adil Rashid claimed figures of 4-73 – his best of the season – to enforce a follow-on for the visitors on the third day at Headingley, but Durham held firm to secure a draw.
A resilient 64 not out from Paul Collingwood was emulated by teammates, Mark Stoneman and Michael Richardson, in the second innings.
Stoneman made 86 at the top of the order, whilst Richardson added 95 more to the total as the reigning County Champions closed the game on 323-8.
Yorkshire’s optimism was sparked by a 270-run opening partnership to the game between Adam Lyth (143) and Alex Rees (108) on day one.
England-capped Jonny Bairstow atoned for a second-ball duck by taking four catches throughout the game. Meanwhile, all-rounder, Tim Bresnan claimed two first innings wickets after only making 6 with the bat.
Nottinghamshire – who weren’t in action – now trail the league leaders by five points.
Middlesex and Somerset share the spoils
Elsewhere in Division One, Middlesex and Somerset dented one another’s title aspirations with a draw at Uxbridge.
Dawid Malan (124) scored the only century of the match, but Nick Compton twice came close to reaching double figures. The Somerset opener was dismissed by Steven Finn for 94 in the first innings before ending the match unbeaten on 83 second time around.
Eoin Morgan hit 10 boundaries on his way to 62 as the home side declared on 315-5, but they couldn’t take the 10 wickets required for the win.
Hants draw - a good day for Kent
In Division Two, Hampshire lost ground on leaders, Worcestershire, but will happily take a draw after a tough encounter with Gloucestershire at the Ageas Bowl.
The visitors, who went on to declare on 504-8 in their first innings, cheaply dismissed the Royals for 297. William Tavare (86) and William Gidman (119) helped put Gloucestershire in the driving seat.
But Hampshire battled on and James Vince’s 63 and Sean Ervine’s unbeaten 57 helped rescue a draw.
Kent claimed the only win of this Championship round of fixtures. Sam Northeast’s second innings century was enough to achieve a six-wicket win over Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The Spitfires were able to keep their slim promotion hopes alive, thanks to Mitchell Claydon’s heroics with both bat and ball.
The Australian’s knock of 77 helped his side to a first innings lead of 85 – after he had already claimed figures of 5-77. Another three wickets in the second innings set Kent an obtainable victory target.
Northeast was unbeaten on 112, and received support from Daniel Bell-Drummond (53) and Brendon Nash (53) as Rob Key’s side reached 306 for the loss of only four wickets.
Another draw for Essex
Essex drew their seventh four-day encounter of the season against Derbyshire at Chesterfield. An unbroken stand of 197 between Nicholas Browne (100*) and Ryan ten Doeschate (104*) helped the Southeastern side avoid defeat after they were reeling at 50-4.
Mark Footitt took three wickets in an over, including Ravi Bopara and Jesse Ryder for ducks, as Essex’s top-order struggled.
As Derbyshire eventually declared on 368-8 in their second innings, Essex used nine different bowlers, but to no avail. Shivnarine Chanderpaul top-scored for the hosts with 92, but it wasn’t enough to provide their second Championship win of the year.