Yorkshire 554/7d lead Hampshire 74/3 by 480 runs

Yorkshire posted their first score of 500 or more in the Specsavers County Championship since 2016 and made early inroads with the ball after tea on day two as they search for victory against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Gary Ballance completed a superb 148 before lunch on day two, the feature of his side’s 554–7 declared from 164 overs.

Jack Leaning, unbeaten on 77, and Jonny Tattersall (52) also chipped in with unbeaten half-centuries, adding to Joe Root’s and Adam Lyth’s 94 and 67 on day one.

Ben Coad and Duanne Olivier then struck early to reduce the home reply to 11-2 after tea.

Hampshire, needing to reach 405 to avoid the follow-on, then lost South African overseas Aiden Markram to Leaning’s off-spin in fading late light on and closed on 74-3 from 26 overs.

The pitch may still be good for batting on, but that target is a long way off and the pressure of having to bat out two more days for a draw could weigh heavy.

Not since posting two 500 plus scores against Hampshire and Surrey in 2016 have Yorkshire reached that mark in Championship cricket, although they did rack up 543-5 declared in the 2017 first-class University fixture against Leeds/Bradford.

For Hampshire, England limited overs all-rounder Liam Dawson was the pick of their bowlers, returning 3-184 from a mammoth 60 overs of left-arm spin.

Yorkshire started the day on 310-3 and secured a fourth batting bonus point for passing 350 inside 110 overs.

Ballance shared 80 for the fourth wicket with nightwatchman Steve Patterson, who helped to blunt the second new ball with an important 34.

Upon reaching 141, Ballance totalled an incredible 1,000 runs in eight first-class matches at this venue for both Yorkshire and England.

And in his last three Championship appearances dating back to the end of last season, he has now scored 510 runs – 194 and 60 against Worcestershire at New Road, seven and 101 not out against Nottinghamshire last week and this 308-ball effort with 15 fours.

Ballance fell to Gareth Berg when he edged behind a chest high short ball which followed him before Patterson slapped the same bowler to point before lunch, leaving Yorkshire at 374-5 in the 113th over.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore (41) was the only wicket to fall in the afternoon, trapped lbw by Dawson – 445-6 in the 136th over – having added 71 with Leaning, whose fifty came off 116 balls.

Tattersall made his Championship debut in last year’s corresponding fixture, a pink ball floodlit draw.

And he became the fifth batsman to post a half-century, in the evening’s opening over, off 79 balls before he miscued Dawson high to cover in the search for quick runs ahead of a declaration.

That came six overs into the evening, by which time the floodlights had been turned on.

Leaning finished unbeaten with seven fours in his 152-ball innings.

Coad then made the breakthrough with the ball when he had Hampshire captain James Vince, a player with an excellent record against the White Rose, caught at first slip by Kohler-Cadmore, leaving the score at 7-1 in the fifth over.

In the next over, Olivier had Joe Weatherley caught behind with an accurate short ball (11-2).

Markram, who made 45, and Sam Northeast took the score to 70 before the former inexplicably shimmied down the track at Leaning – only bowling because the umpires had said the light was too poor for quick bowlers – and hoisted him to Ballance at deep mid-wicket with three overs remaining in the day.

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