KANE WILLIAMSON ended his wait for a maiden Yorkshire century, but more importantly the county are on course for another LV= County Championship victory against Sussex at Scarborough.
The New Zealand international batsman posted a superb 189 off 320 balls in his 20th Championship innings for Yorkshire dating back 12 months as the hosts, replying to 368, posted 493 during day three.
He then watched his bowlers strike four times in the remaining 30 overs of play as Sussex slipped to 48-4 in their second innings having conceded a lead of 125.
They were thankful to an unbeaten 56 from Luke Wright for steadying the ship, but they are still in trouble at 98-4 and 27 behind ahead of the final day.
"It was nice to get that (hundred) and nice to contribute largely in a big first innings,” said Williamson, who is set to miss the last two Championship matches of the season due to his involvement at the Champions League T20 in India with Northern Districts.
“It's satisfying to get a first-innings score, particularly when the team needs it.
“Whilst it was good to achieve that first-innings total, what's probably more pleasing is the pressure we put on them to get the four wickets.”
Should Yorkshire win their sixth match of the season, a worst case scenario would see them extend their lead at the top to six points from Nottinghamshire with three matches remaining.
As good as it was, Williamson’s innings, including 22 fours, was built on a slice of luck during Saturday’s second day when he was given a reprieve by the umpires on 16 having edged Lewis Hatchett to James Tredwell at second slip.
Sussex claimed the catch, although Williamson immediately registered his doubts with Peter Hartley and Graham Lloyd.
After double checking with Tredwell, Williamson started his walk back to the pavilion, but he was called back by the umpires. That would have left Yorkshire at 55-3 just after lunch.
"I asked Tredders and was taking his word for it, but the umpires thought it didn't carry,” explained Williamson. “It was one of those ones where the fielder would have thought it had, but I wasn't so sure.”
Instead, Williamson shared 149 inside 30 overs for the fourth wicket with Jonny Bairstow, whose counter-attacking 77 put Sussex under pressure, and 157 in 41 for the seventh wicket with Tim Bresnan (61).
Ryan Sidebottom struck twice after tea, while Jack Brooks and Bresnan picked up one apiece. Sidebottom got the key wicket of first-innings centurion Ed Joyce trapped lbw for just five.
Wright and Steffan Piolet shared an unbroken stand of 50 for the fifth wicket before close.
LV= County Championship division one
Yorkshire v Sussex
Sussex First Innings 368
Yorkshire First Innings
A Lyth b Hatchett 3
A Z Lees c Joyce b Magoffin 0
K S Williamson c & b Wells 189
A W Gale c B C Brown b Magoffin 35
J M Bairstow lbw b Hobden 77
J A Leaning b Tredwell 33
A U Rashid b Hobden 28
T T Bresnan c & b Wells 61
S A Patterson lbw b Wells 5
R J Sidebottom not out 14
J A Brooks c Hatchett b Tredwell 15
Extras (b3 lb9 w1 nb20) 33
Total (126.2 overs) 493
Fall: 1-3 2-5 3-57 4-206 5-257 6-292 7-449 8-459 9-466.
Bowling: Magoffin 37-12-102-2, Hatchett 23-1-116-1, Tredwell 19.2-1-76-2, Hobden 22-1-101-2, Piolet 13-0-48-0, Wells 12-1-38-3.
Sussex Second Innings
L W P Wells b Sidebottom 0
C D Nash c Bairstow b Brooks 15
E C Joyce lbw b Sidebottom 5
C Cachopa c Lyth b Bresnan 7
L J Wright not out 56
S A Piolet not out 10
Extras (b4 lb1) 5
Total 4 wkts (30 overs) 98
Fall: 1-8 2-20 3-20 4-48.
Bowling: Sidebottom 7-2-8-2, Brooks 8-2-50-1, Bresnan 7-1-19-1, Patterson 5-2-11-0, A U Rashid 2-0-2-0, Lyth 1-0-3-0.