Dom Bess and Jordan Thompson returned important contributions during a hard-fought second day between Yorkshire and Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, with the visitors remaining in the hunt for an LV= Insurance County Championship victory.
This was a day which neither side dominated as Yorkshire were bowled out for 428 in their first innings, advancing from 324-5 overnight, before Hampshire responded with 225-4 from 69 overs, including Matthew Waite getting James Vince.
After first day scores of 131 and 76 for George Hill and Harry Brook, Bess completed an unbeaten 51 as Yorkshire were bowled out on the stroke of lunch.
The visitors then made the ideal start to their defence thanks to two wickets inside five overs for Thompson as the score slipped to 12-2.
Thompson squared up Ian Holland with one that jagged away off the pitch and had the American-born opener caught behind in the third over before bringing about a Felix Organ failure in the next when he won an lbw shout.
Nick Gubbins (58) Liam Dawson and Ben Brown all made half-centuries for the hosts, the latter pair ending the day unbeaten on 61 and 52 respectively.
All in all, Hampshire will be happier with their day’s work today, but Yorkshire remain the most likely winners out of the two given their lead is still 203.
A new ball 11 overs into day three promises to be important for Steve Patterson and co.
Patience was the key for Yorkshire for the majority of the afternoon as third-wicket pair Gubbins and Vince shared 82 to steady the home ship following the early losses.
Gubbins was handed a life on 31 when he edged Matthew Revis into the slips, where neither Adam Lyth at second or Will Fraine at first following an initial parry were able to hold on.
Had a leaping Lyth taken the first chance above his head, it would have been a very smart catch.
Thankfully, Yorkshire were rewarded for endeavour when Vince was trapped lbw for 33 by playing around one from Waite as the score fell to 94-3 in the 30th over, seven before the tea break.
Gubbins later reached his fifty off 90 balls, only to fall four balls into the evening when he pushed forwards at Patterson and edged behind to Harry Duke, who claimed his second catch, as the score fell to 111-4 in the 38th over.
From there, fifth-wicket pair Dawson and wicketkeeper Brown ensured there was no further damage done for Hampshire against a hard-working attack on a pitch which remains pretty good despite showing signs of extra bounce through the day.
Both players reached their half-centuries during the final hour of the day. Dawson’s came off 91 balls and Brown’s off 98. They shared an unbroken partnership of 114, though Brown had been the beneficiary of a missed stumping chance on 11 from Duke against Bess (130-4).
Former Sussex captain Brown has now reached 50 six times in 15 career first-class innings against Yorkshire.
Earlier, Bess advanced from two overnight during a morning session which saw five wickets fall, including the final four for South African-born quick Brad Wheal, who finished with figures of 4-59 from 24.2 overs.
Yorkshire claimed four batting bonus points for passing 350 inside 110 overs and had a brief dart at reaching 400 in time for a fifth with Thompson (23) and Bess at the crease.
Waite was the first wicket of the day to fall, for 41, when he gloved a lifter from Keith Barker to second slip, where Dawson took a good low catch, leaving Yorkshire at 342-6 in the 101st over – the fifth of the day.
Bess pounced on anything short or over-pitched during an 81-ball fifty and watched from the other end as Wheal wrapped up Yorkshire’s innings by getting Thompson caught at first slip trying to cut as the score fell to 386-7 in the 111th.
He then trapped Matthew Revis lbw and was thankful to wicketkeeper Brown, who pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch after Dominic Drakes had aimed a pull.
The Bajan was disappointed to be given out, seemingly indicating the ball had come off his forearm rather than top edge or glove. By that time, Yorkshire 426-9 in the 121st over.
And shortly afterwards, bringing about lunch five minutes early, last man Patterson was bowled by Wheal in the 123rd.
That aforementioned extra bounce and maybe a touch more pace was evident most during the morning.
Waite was undone by the former from Barker, while Bess took a ball on the right hand from a nasty lifting Wheal delivery.