England Test wicketkeeper Ben Foakes hit a superb unbeaten 86, expertly backing up Rory Burns’ century, as LV= Insurance County Championship leaders Surrey engineered an outside victory chance against Yorkshire at Scarborough.
Surrey, replying to a first-innings 521, ensured only a six-run deficit with 20 overs remaining on day three before Yorkshire’s second innings reached close at 65 for two, including two late Jamie Overton wickets.
In Foakes’ first game since pulling out midway through last month’s Headingley Test against New Zealand with Covid, he contributed 12 fours and top-edged six in 156 balls to a 515 total.
That also included 132 for captain Burns – 94 overnight – while off-spinner Dom Bess claimed five for 126 for Yorkshire.
If Surrey can have a dream fourth morning with the ball, they could be contemplating a fifth win in nine games.
Foakes’ deft touch and strong leg-side play from mid-morning onwards first of all helped avoid the follow-on by reaching 372 and then almost secured parity.
Surrey started the day on 191 for one and lost two wickets in the morning and two shortly after lunch to open the door for Yorkshire with their visitors at 303 for five, still 69 short of the follow-on.
A game which has seen bowlers struggle to find the right length on a pitch offering good bounce sprung to life.
In the day’s 15th over, Jordan Thompson had a driving Hashim Amla caught at second slip for 79, leaving Surrey at 243 for two in the 68th and ending a second-wicket partnership of 141 with Burns.
Jamie Smith edged Bess behind for 11 not too long afterwards – 268 for three. Prior to that Burns had reached three figures off 181 balls.
Aside from being caught in the slips off a Shannon Gabriel no ball on day two on 72, Burns looked untroubled until bowled by a beauty from the West Indian overseas quick – 284 for four in the 86th over.
By this time, Gabriel was bowling with the new ball immediately after lunch.
The Trinidadian (two for 95 from 21) has been signed on an initial three-game basis.
But, up until his post-lunch spell, he had been largely ineffective and struggled with no balls. The Burns catch was one of 10 sent down in his first eight overs on day two.
However, he uprooted the left-hander’s off-stump as he played forwards.
Thompson struck again when Will Jacks dragged on.
But, from 303 for five in the 89th, Foakes and Australian overseas all-rounder Aaron Hardie quickly snuffed out any danger, avoiding the follow-on with a 75 stand.
The former was watchful and the latter belligerent on his way to 46, taking 14 off a Steve Patterson over with a pulled six to take their side to the follow-on target of 372.
However, in trying to loft the boundary which would have taken him to 50, Hardie was bowled by the same man in his next over – 378 for six in the 102nd.
Surrey’s fifth batting point for reaching 400 inside 110 overs was brought up before tea.
Overton lofted former Somerset team-mate Bess over long-on for six in a breezy 32 before pulling Gabriel to deep square-leg after tea (432 for seven).
Bess removed Tom Lawes stumped and Conor McKerr caught behind in the same over – 467 for nine – before last man Dan Worrall launched his first ball over long-off for six against Bess.
Worrall raced to 26 even though Foakes farmed the strike.
Bess wrapped up the innings when the former advanced at him and was stumped by Jonny Tattersall, whose five victims included three stumpings and followed his first-innings 180.
For Bess, it was his first five-for of the summer.
George Hill (33 not out) was dropped on four before Overton struck twice in the penultimate over. He had Adam Lyth (26) gloving a lifter behind before trapping night-watchman Bess lbw second ball.