DESPITE Mark Alleyne's fine 88 and Mike Smith's competition best of four for 29, including a hat-trick, Yorkshire yesterday defended a modest-seeming 215 by nine runs to remain at the top of the AXA table.
Tight new-ball bowling from Yorkshire's 20-year-old left-armers, Ryan Sidebottom and Paul Hutchison, restricted Gloucestershire early on and they lost wickets trying to accelerate. At 113 for five in the 27th over, they seemed out of contention.
However, Alleyene, who drove Stemp for three sixes and also hit five fours, then added 52 in seven overs with Tim Hancock before excellent bowling from Craig White and Darren Lehmann's accurate throw to run out Hancock kept Yorkshire in control.
Gloucestershire, needing 80 off the last 10 overs, were struggling when Alleyne, who faced 94 balls, was caught at long off. They kept going but Hutchison, bowling to a full length, polished off the tail to finish with four for 34.
Earlier, Yorkshire, having been put in, started briskly through White and Michael Vaughan and, with Lehmann striking the ball fluently, a big score appeared probable, though they rather lost their way against Alleyne and Martyn Ball.
Bradley Parker, whose 40 included three sixes, looked likely to rescue them but he was caught at long on off Smith, who then had Gavin Hamilton caught at midwicket and Sidebottom leg before to complete his first hat-trick in any cricket.