Yorkshire trail Worcestershire by 212 runs with eight first-innings wickets remaining
Worcestershire could manage only a disappointing first-innings total after winning the toss against Yorkshire here yesterday and their bowlers then came in for some
severe punishment from Anthony McGrath who completed 1,000 first-class runs for the first time in his career.
McGrath had charged to 65 off only 54 balls with ten boundaries by the close when Yorkshire were a little more than 200 runs in arrears.
Shoaib Akhtar bore the brunt of McGrath's assault and at one stage the Pakistani pace ace appeared troubled by an injury to his left foot but he remained in the action.
It was more like Twenty20 cricket at the start of the day as Chris Gayle tore into South African paceman Deon Kruis by lashing him for seven boundaries from his first seven scoring shots.
Some balls were struck off the meat of the bat while others came off the edge but Gayle's thrash ended on 29 when he sliced Kruis straight into the hands of Joe Sayers who was positioned at third man for just such a shot.
While this was going on, Yorkshire's debutant fast bowler, newly-signed Australian Mark Cleary, was opening up with two maidens to Stephen Moore.
But it was first change Tim Bresnan who really stung Worcestershire by dismissing Graeme Hick and Moore, both to catches by captain Craig White at gully.
Hick's firm push was caught low down before Moore was out in stunning fashion as White flung himself to his left to hold on to a full-blooded cut.
Ben Smith, dropped at third slip by McGrath on six, was fourth out at 129 when he fell lbw to Ian Harvey and Worcestershire were rallied either side of lunch by a responsible stand of 75 in 25 overs between Vikram Solanki and Steven Davies.
Bresnan returned to have Davies taken behind by Simon Guy, the first of four catches for the wicketkeeper, but Solanki straight drove off-spinner Richard Dawson for six before he nibbled outside off stump at McGrath and departed for 48 from 126 balls with six fours and a six.
Wickets continued to fall and Cleary picked up his first for his new county when he had Shoaib caught behind. At 250 for nine Worcestershire seemed finished. But Matt Mason and Nadeem Malik hit out lustily in a stand of 58 which brought their side a third batting bonus point, Nadeem striking Cleary for two fours and a six in one over.
Mason had seven boundaries in his 38 before drilling a return catch to Dawson to leave Malik unbeaten on 21.
In the first over of Yorkshire's reply Matthew Wood hit Kabir hard off the back foot and straight to Gareth Batty at cover point. But neither Kabir nor Mason could contain McGrath who required only 13 balls to score the 27 he needed for 1,000 first-class runs.
McGrath's tenth boundary, a cover drive off Shoaib, brought him his 50 but in the penultimate over Malik had Sayers caught at third slip by Smith.