Yorkshire’s England contingent, past and present, failed with the bat but the White Rose recovered to set up an intriguing last day against MCC in Abu Dhabi.
First-innings centurion Gary Ballance, Adam Lyth and Tim Bresnan all fell for single figures as the county champions slipped to 147-6 in their second innings, a precarious lead of 123.
Lyth and Bresnan’s England days seem to be over, but Ballance is pressing for a recall after being a non-playing member of the Test squad that toured South Africa this winter.
Will Rhodes, who narrowly missed out on a first-innings ton, and Andy Hood came to the rescue with a seventh-wicket stand of 80 that was broken shortly before stumps.
Yorkshire closed on 239-7, a lead of 215, with Rhodes unbeaten on 41, shortly after Hood went lbw to Jake Ball for 44.
Earlier Andrew Gale’s side quickly wrapped up the MCC first innings, conceding a deficit of just 24.
Young left-arm spinner Karl Carver took three of the final four wickets to fall, including breaking a stand of 139 between Ben Foakes and Rikki Clarke in the day’s first over.
Foakes was bowled for 91 as he went for an expansive shot. Bresnan later accounted for Clarke, trapped in front for 58.
In Yorkshire’s reply another former former England man, spinner James Tredwell, snared opening batsman Lyth and all-rounder Bresnan as the champions wobbled.
Between times, seamer James Harris spectacularly uprooted Ballance’s off-stump.
Internationally, England closed in on a semi-final place at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20, but only after being given an almighty scare in a two-wicket victory over hosts India in Dharamsala.
Heather Knight took 3-15 with her off-spin to restrict India to 90-8 – a score which seemed substandard even on a slow, low pitch offering some turn.
England looked home and dry when they raced to 42-1 in reply, but a middle-order collapse almost derailed their chase.
Seven wickets fell for just 45 runs, and No 10 Anya Shrubsole was dropped at cover the ball before slashing the winning boundary through backward point.
Ekta Bisht took 4-21 and fellow spinner Harmanpreet Kaur 2-22 as England struggled to deal with the turning ball, and some ill-judged running between the wickets aided India’s cause further.
Captain Charlotte Edwards fell cheaply in pursuit of the low total but Tammy Beaumont and Sarah Taylor wasted little time adding 32 from 21 balls for the second wicket.
Alex Hales, opener for the men’s team, has emerged as an injury doubt for todday’s World Twenty20 clash against Afghanistan. Hales sat out net practice yesterday after experiencing back pain and will be assessed this morning to determine his fitness.
Hampshire’s James Vince is on standby to join Jason Roy at the top of the order should Hales be forced to sit out of the must-win match.