Wicketkeepers excel at the Riverside on a nip-and-tuck third day
The ball from seamer Ben Raine was in a tempting channel outside the off stump.
Bairstow aimed to flash it away through the covers but succeeded only in edging towards a solitary slip.
Somehow, Robinson, the wicketkeeper, flung himself Superman-like in front of the fielder and took the ball in his outstretched right hand.
As Raine wheeled away with his arm aloft, like Alan Shearer after scoring a goal, Robinson threw the ball high in celebration before accepting the high-fives of his jubilant colleagues.
Bairstow walked off with an air of disbelief but, no doubt, grudging admiration.
It was a catch that should rightly be replayed at the Christmas dinner of the wicketkeeper’s union.
Robinson had taken one almost as good in Raine’s previous over, diving one-handed to his left to claim an attempted cut by Dawid Malan.
The wickets of Bairstow and Malan, Yorkshire’s England batsmen, were key moments on day three as the match proceeded in nip-and-tuck fashion. They had shared 50 exactly going into the day, which Yorkshire began on 91-3 in their second innings, a lead of 118, and they looked in little trouble as they lifted that stand to 95 before Malan fell after 45 minutes.
George Hill and Matty Revis steadied things with a sixth-wicket partnership of 41, but Yorkshire lost three quick wickets just before lunch to slip to 198-8. Bas de Leede bowled Revis with one that kept low, Dom Bess was lbw to Matthew Potts for a second-ball duck, and Hill, after playing well for 51, chased a delivery from Potts, which was smartly caught by second slip David Bedingham.
The innings was over soon after the break, Jordan Thompson lbw to Potts and Mickey Edwards lbw shouldering arms to Raine.
Raine and Potts both took four wickets, Durham’s cause not helped by a side injury to pace man Brydon Carse, which left them a key man down.
Needing 246 to win, Durham looked like they might get there in a hurry as Alex Lees, the former Yorkshire batsman, scored all the runs as they raced to 31-0 from four overs. Lees hit the first 38 runs off the bat before chopping on to Matty Fisher, after which Yorkshire squeezed the rate.
At tea, Durham were 109-2, Scott Borthwick having clipped Thompson to short mid-wicket, which became 126-3 when Bairstow took almost as good a catch as Robinson’s one to dismiss him, Bairstow getting down smartly to grab Bedingham low and one-handed to his right off Hill.
Fisher swung things Yorkshire’s way, striking three times in as many overs to have Robinson driving to slip, Michael Jones lbw and de Leede playing on.
When Thompson had Graham Clark chopping on and, next ball, pinned Ajaz Patel, Durham were 173-8, still 73 short. Raine (32) and Potts (13) held up the visitors and survived the extra half-hour, adding 40 as Durham reached 213-8.