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Yorkshire chase challenging 336 victory target
Yorkshire will need to display plenty of resolve with the bat tomorrow if they are to escape from their latest LV= County Championship match against Durham at the Riverside with a positive result.
Andrew Gale’s men have so far struggled with the willow this summer, having been bowled out for 96 and 177 in two of their three four-day innings against Sussex at Headingley and here in the first innings.
There is no doubt they have the ability within their dressing room to take either a draw or, far less likely, a win back to Leeds, although it has not been particularly evident so far.
Only Gary Ballance and Phil Jaques have scored fifties, both coming in an improved second-innings total of 248 against Sussex when they slipped to defeat by an innings and 12 runs.
Yorkshire were set a challenging victory target of 336 during the latter stages of the third day, in which Durham’s Mark Stoneman scored a composed 109 having been dropped on 11 by Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps off Tim Bresnan during the morning session. The left-hander anchored a total of 275-4 declared.
But at least Yorkshire openers Joe Root and Adam Lyth managed to make an encouraging start to their chase by closing on 17-0 from seven overs, leaving another 319 runs needed.
Yorkshire have only successfully chased more than 336 three times in their first-class history, all coming since the start of the 2005 season.
But to do that again they will have to combat the in-form Graham Onions, who took five wickets in the first innings and went close on a couple of occasions tonight with the new ball.
Liam Plunkett was the pick of the visiting bowlers on his old stomping ground with 2-49 from 16 overs, getting Stoneman caught at first slip and Ben Stokes caught behind.
Bresnan had earlier struck twice in the 41st over to remove Keaton Jennings (48) and Will Smith to leave the score at 127-2.
Dale Benkenstein posted 61 not out, while the attacking declaration came from Paul Collingwood after a 70-minute break for rain and bad light from 5pm onwards.
Yorkshire were unusually ragged in the field, with Bairstow dropping two catches and Phil Jaques one.