YORKSHIRE’S quest for a third consecutive County Championship title is reaching its climax and, with just two games remaining, it is still all to play for.
For the final time this year, Headingley plays host to red-ball cricket as Somerset aim for a first win in Leeds for seven years.
After last week’s dramatic 31-run win over Warwickshire, Somerset have given themselves an outside chance of being crowned champions.
However, Yorkshire are well-placed to retain their title having overcome Durham in comprehensive fashion, and victory over the West Country side will set up a final game decider against leaders Middlesex at Lords.
A loss for Jason Gillespie’s side, in what will be the coach’s final game in charge at Headingley before he returns to Australia, would mean Middlesex are left with the chance of sealing the championship with a week to spare.
But, given Somerset’s recent history in the Broad Acres, Yorkshire will feel the destination of the County Championship Division One title remains in their hands.
We look back at the last three times these opponents have met at Headingley as well as picking a star man for the visitors ...
2015 - Yorkshire win by an innings and 126 runs
Charging toward a second-successive County Championship title, Yorkshire won by an innings total for the third time in the season, recording their biggest win of the summer.
Somerset were facing an uphill battle from the very first morning as their top five batsmen scored a combined total of just 15. All out for 110, Jack Brooks tormented them with the ball ending with figures of 5-35.
England batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance each knocked 91 runs as Yorkshire hit 391, and the resounding victory was secured as the visitors scored just 155 runs in their second innings.
2014 - Match drawn
Nine days after winning their first County Championship title for 13 years, Yorkshire welcomed Somerset to Headingley for the final game of the season. With Andrew Gale serving the second match of his two-game suspension for verbally abusing Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince, Joe Root skippered the side.
Despite sealing the title with a game to spare, Gillespie was keen for his team to finish in style in front of their loyal supporters.
However it was not to be as Somerset’s dogged second innings resistance frustrated the hosts. Scoring 151-9 from 44 overs, Jamie Overton and Alfonso Thomas put on a final wicket stand as the crucial final wicket would elude the champions.
2013 - Match drawn
Adil Rashid scored his highest first-class total as Yorkshire declared on 505-9 in their first innings. Hitting 180 runs, it was the spinner’s third-consecutive century. Gary Ballance also hit a ton while Jos Buttler caught five behind the stumps for Somerset.
In reply, the visitors scored 252 and were forced to follow on. But with rain interrupting parts of day three and the morning of day four, a result became increasingly unlikely with the second innings not starting until the afternoon session of the final day.
Jack Brooks’s four wickets brought about the outside prospect of an emphatic Yorkshire win, but victory fizzled away from the hosts as Somerset clung on to the draw, finishing on 61-6 - still 191 runs adrift of the hosts’ first innings total.
Somerset’s one to watch ...
Though Marcus Trescothick and Peter Trego will be the key men with the bat, left-arm spinner Jack Leach is the pick of the bowlers for Somerset.
From Taunton, the 25-year-old has taken 52 County Championship wickets in 2016 at an average of 23.96. Only the Warwickshire duo of Jeetan Patel (64) and Keith Barker (54) have more.
In what has been Leach’s best season to date, he has finished with a five-wicket haul on four occasions, including a season’s best 6-42 in last week’s win over Warwickshire.