Gloucestershire 421 for 8 (O Price 97*, Hammond 92, Moriarty 4-131) trail Yorkshire 550 for 9 dec by 129 runs
Gloucestershire started a weather-affected day three at 2.15pm on 232 for 5, replying to Yorkshire’s first-innings 550 for 9 declared, and closed on 421 for 8, with Ollie Price unbeaten on a career-best 97 off 140 balls.
Ollie was one not out at the day’s beginning and Tom hadn’t even arrived at the crease, with Miles Hammond unbeaten on 84. When Hammond fell for 92, caught at long-on off Dan Moriarty’s left-arm spin, leaving the score at 246 for 6, it paved the way for a Gloucestershire game of ‘The Price is Right’ during a day of only 38 overs.
Ollie, aged 22, was ably supported by Tom – a year older – with 59. They shared a Gloucestershire seventh-wicket record partnership in matches versus Yorkshire, 162 inside 33 overs either side of tea.
It was also the match’s highest partnership, and it remains possible the two brothers from Oxford will have posted their maiden first-team centuries in this season’s Championship by early morning tomorrow after Tom did it against Worcestershire in April.
With Gloucestershire 129 runs behind, a contrived finish is the only realistic way a draw could be avoided.
Hammond only added eight runs to his overnight 84, which had come in 95 balls with six sixes – the majority lofted down the ground off Moriarty. And he was trying to play in the same attacking manner on day three despite a few factors against him – a slate grey sky with the floodlights on and Gloucestershire still 169 runs away from avoiding the follow-on.
Anyway, he hoisted the second ball of the day in the 58th over, from Surrey loanee Moriarty, over long-off for six before trying similar in the spinner’s next over but picking out Dom Leech at long-on.
Moriarty had wicket number four, and Dom Bess’s replacement in Yorkshire’s team was doing a decent job. The only downer from his point of view was that, after a tidy start on day two with three maidens in his first four overs, he was starting to concede some boundaries.
He conceded seven sixes in figures of 4 for 96 after 25 overs, while his 26th saw Ollie Price hit him for three successive boundaries as the visitors closed on 300. Moriarty finished the day with 4 for 131 from 33 overs amidst an otherwise off-colour home display.
The light forced Yorkshire to employ spin from both ends pretty early into proceedings. There was a near 25-minute delay for bad light from just before 3.20pm, with 17 overs bowled beforehand. Fifteen of them were sent down by the spin of Moriarty and part-time offie Adam Lyth.
Ollie Price played positively but differently to Hammond. He swept and reverse swept on the way to an 82-ball fifty after the resumption following bad light.
The 10 overs upon the resumption through to tea proved game changing. The Prices took 69 runs to advance from 300 for 6, including 45 from four bowled by Australian debutant overseas seamer Mark Steketee and Matthew Fisher.
Tom took on Fisher’s short stuff and then drove an arrow straight boundary off Steketee, with Ollie three times edging the latter wide of the slips to reach tea on 75 and the visitors 369 for 6 and only 32 short of the follow-on.
Only 15 more runs were added before another 25-minute break for bad light. Tom then reached his fifty off 93 balls as Gloucestershire avoided the follow-on at 402 for 6. But he was bowled almost immediately by George Hill.
When Zafar Gohar failed to evade a Leech short ball in the next over, Gloucestershire were 413 for 8 after 93 overs. Only two more overs were possible before a third bad light stoppage was the final one at 5.55pm.