Yorkshire’s veteran left-arm paceman Ryan Sidebottom gave a magnificent exhibition of the art of swing bowling by picking up seven for 44, the second best figures of his career, on the second day of the LV=County Championship Division One match against Middlesex at Scarborough.
The 36-year-old grabbed three early wickets as Middlesex slumped to 11 for four, and later coming back for a four-wicket third spell after a rallying 168 stand between Dawid Malan and John Simpson, who went on to make 110.
Sidebottom’s heroics helped bowl out the visitors for 232 to give Yorkshire a 21-run lead and with 13 overs to bat they closed on 29 for one with the match in the balance.
The true value of Adam Lyth’s century on the opening day soon became apparent when Yorkshire resumed on 211 for six after a 30-minute wait for the ground to dry out and then lost their last four wickets for the addition of 42 runs in 55 minutes of play.
Although Yorkshire had begun the match satisfactorily they lost their way from 177 for two and would have been disappointed with a final score of 253. Middlesex went into lunch on four for two as Sidebottom, made full use of the swing potential caused by high humidity and overcast conditions.
His eighth delivery to Chris Rogers was perfectly pitched and left him late for Jonny Bairstow to take the catch behind the stumps.
Patterson soon replaced Jack Brooks in a shrewd move by Andrew Gale and his fourth delivery pinned Nick Gubbins lbw.
Sidebottom was even more lethal early in the afternoon and another almost unplayable delivery to Morgan found the edge, the first three batsmen to go all failing to making a run.
It would have been 11 for four if Bairstow had not spilled a sitter off Brooks which gave Malan a life that Yorkshire were left bitterly to regret and that indeed was the score when Paul Stirling squirted a low catch to Kane Williamson at third slip, Sidebottom now having claimed three wickets while conceding just 11 runs.
But once Sidebottom was rested and the clouds had moved back, Malan and Simpson brought about a remarkable change in fortunes with a 168-run stand in 43 overs which brought Middlesex right back into the game from a position in which the follow-on had not seemed impossible.
It took the return of Sidebottom for a blistering third spell to bring Yorkshire back into the game. With his third ball he had Malan caught at second slip by Lyth for 78 but Simpson went on to complete a superb century before Sidebottom dismissed Ollie Rayner lbw and had Toby Roland-Jones snapped up by Lyth.
Simpson was run out for 110 and Sidebottom claimed his seventh wicket and third of the spell when Murtagh edged to Williamson at third slip who parried the ball to Lyth. The veteran left-armer withdrew from the attack before Rashid dismissed Finn.
Yorkshire were soon in difficulties themselves as Lyth edged Murtagh into the slips but Alex Lees and Williamson held firm.