Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale tonight revealed that he declined an approach from Somerset’s Marcus Trescothick to set up a day-four run-chase in the opening LV= County Champion-ship match at Taunton, which finishes tomorrow.
A strong Somerset batting performance yesterday led by Johann Myburgh’s 91 means the hosts head into day four on 530-9 in reply to Yorkshire’s first-innings 450.
The docile nature of the pitch means a draw is the odds-on favourite by some distance, although the White Rose county are not completely out of the woods yet.
The most likely way of a positive result being gained for either side is via a contrived finish.
However, quite understandably, that does not appeal to Gale and his team-mates.
An 11-point haul for a draw is by no means a disaster, and there are still 15 matches left in a long season.
Yorkshire also suffered three heavy defeats in Championship matches here in 2009, 2010 and 2011 when Somerset chased down targets with some authority.
In 2009 and 2010, the Somerset wins were both on the back of Yorkshire declarations in their second innings.
“Tres asked at tea, but I’ve been scarred enough on this ground in the past,” said Gale. “We won’t be setting anything up.”
Somerset began day three on 166-3 and still in danger of not avoiding the follow-on by reaching 301 – although Yorkshire would not have enforced it anyway.
They reached that total with little trouble as their day was built around Myburgh, a career-best 69 for Lewis Gregory, 67 for James Hildreth and 63 for Craig Kieswetter.
Yorkshire actually bowled better than the score at the end of the day suggests in conditions offering very little help for the bowlers.
Liam Plunkett and Kane Williamson took two wickets apiece, with the former finishing with 4-108 from 26 overs as Yorkshire missed out on two bowling bonus points.
“We bowled in good areas for long periods and on another occasion we could have bowled them out for 300 or 350,” added Gale.