Yorkshire’s struggles to establish a winning position on a slow Arundel pitch provoked mixed fortunes for two of their top order batsmen on the third day against Sussex.
Resuming on 208 for three, trailing by 108 runs, Yorkshire knew they needed to accelerate if they were to establish a position from where they could attempt to push for victory.
But they were denied by a slow surface that ensured timing shots was difficult and by tea they had secured a 66-run lead on 382 for five having scored just 174 runs in 91 overs so far during the day.
The day may have been frustrating but there were also fluctuating fortunes for Yorkshire’s two overnight batsmen, with Jack Leaning falling narrowly short of his maiden championship century while Jonny Bairstow claimed his first championship century of the season.
Playing only his third championship victory of the season, Leaning was dismissed for 99 after driving back down the pitch and off-spinner James Tredwell took a brilliant reflex return catch.
He had batted for over five hours, hitting 12 fours, and adding 125 in 41.4 overs with Bairstow and Leaning was quickly followed by Aaron Finch, trapped lbw for 3 by Steve Magoffin trying to force the pace.
But Bairstow, unbeaten on 33 overnight, built on the success of his match-winning unbeaten 60 in Friday’s NatWest T20 Blast victory at Northampton, to claim an unbeaten 120 .
Bairstow, whose previous best this season was 95 at Durham in May, hit six fours and a six and shared in an unbroken 115-run stand with Tim Bresnan, but they both struggled to force the pace on a slow wicket and their stand has spanned 43.3 overs.