Yorkshire v Middlesex: Hosts build big lead at Scarborough

LV= County Championship Division One, Scarborough

Close, day three: Yorkshire 253 & 400-5, Middlesex 232

Yorkshire 5pts; Middlesex 4pts

Match scorecard

Andrew Gale's unbeaten ton helped Yorkshire to a 421-run lead over Middlesex going into the final day.

Resuming on 29-1, Yorkshire closed the day on 400-5 led by Gale's innings of 126 not out, which included 13 fours.

Alex Lees (67), Kane Williamson (62) and Jack Leaning (76) also scored half-centuries as Yorkshire gave themselves the best chance possible of returning to the top of Division One.

Tim Murtagh (3-64) was the bright spot on a tough day for the bowlers.

Williamson and Lees batted throughout the morning session and put on 117 in 31 overs.

Their second-wicket partnership was finally ended at 132 when Williamson cut Murtagh and was caught one-handed above his head by Ollie Rayner.

Lees followed four overs later to a low catch by Dawid Malan, also in the slip cordon.

Jonny Bairstow could only add 32 and the home side were 201-4, but Gale and Leaning shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 182 to really put Yorkshire in the box seat.

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale:

"There was less sideways movement in the pitch and you never felt you were in if you got outside your bubble.

"I am not sure yet about batting on. I will have a chat with coach Jason Gillespie about it.

"It was a good day for us, which was set up nicely by Alex Lees and Kane Williamson in the morning."

BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:

"Yorkshire have powered ahead in the game after a dominant day with the bat that saw only four wickets fall, as the track appeared to flatten out under blue skies at Scarborough.

"A wicketless morning session could not have been predicted after 15 scalps were claimed on day two, but Alex Lees and Kane Williamson batted defiantly, allowing Andrew Gale and Jack Leaning to cash in as the day wore on.

"Middlesex's bowlers haven't been at their best in this match and it will be interesting to see to what extent they had an off day, or the pitch had indeed changed from the opening two days.

"The overhead conditions couldn't have been more different with vast amounts of blue sky throughout the day."