Century-maker Gary Ballance continued his love affair with the Ageas Bowl, while Tom Kohler-Cadmore and George Hill both contributed with the bat to keep Yorkshire on track for an LV= Insurance County Championship win against Hampshire.

The White Rose are eyeing the ideal start to their shot at the Championship title, with this the first of four remaining fixtures in Division One which will decide the county champions and the Bob Willis Trophy finalists.

Midway through the evening session, Steve Patterson declared the second innings and set Hampshire a hugely difficult target of 393 in a minimum of 115 overs. They closed on 26-2 from 19.

Incredibly, Ballance’s 101 not out was his fifth hundred in his last seven Championship innings here, smashing seven sixes in 86 balls.

Kohler-Cadmore laid the foundation with 89 off 207 balls, his highest score of the season.

Opener Hill made 55 off 180, the second-wicket pair batting through the first session and a half and completing a second-wicket stand of 121.

After watchful progress for the first half of the day, Ballance then came in and kick-started the charge towards a declaration with all of his sixes into the leg-side.

In nine first-class career matches here in all, including Test cricket, Ballance has reached 50 on eight occasions – six of those being hundreds.

He has scored a total of 1,150 first-class runs here.

To put that into context, he has scored 3,019 runs in 52 first-class matches at Emerald Headingley.

Starting the day on 34-1 from 12 overs of their second innings, Yorkshire’s lead was 114. They advanced to reach lunch on 102-1 from 43, a lead of 182.

Hampshire were without seamers Kyle Abbott and Brad Wheal. Abbott went for a scan on a foot injury, though Wheal’s ailment was not disclosed prior to close.

In the early stages of the afternoon, Yorkshire actually slowed up, scoring only 27 runs in the opening 19 overs of the session and lost Hill caught behind driving at Ian Holland.

Yorkshire were 129-2 after 62 overs with Ballance at the crease.

He slog-swept Liam Dawson’s left-arm spin for his first six over mid-wicket to change the pace of the day.

From there, Hampshire were left bedraggled.

From 129-2 after 62 overs, Yorkshire scored 183 runs in 25 either side of tea.

Ballance hit five of his sixes off Dawson, who bowled through the first two sessions – bar one over – unchanged from the Pavilion End. He finished with 0-104 from 35.

Impressive Kohler-Cadmore hit two sixes over long-off in as many balls off Mason Crane’s leg-spin before falling caught at long-on in the same over trying to hit a third – 206-3 after 74 shortly before tea.

While this was his highest score of the Championship campaign, it was actually his third successive fifty in different competitions having scored one for the Northern Superchargers in their last Hundred match and one for Yorkshire in the Vitality Blast quarter-final defeat to Sussex.

He and Ballance shared 78 for the third wicket inside 17 overs.

After tea, Hampshire captain James Vince had Harry Brook caught at deep mid-wicket (236-4 in the 80th) with his part-time medium pacers before Jordan Thompson clobbered two sixes in a quick-fire 33.

He shared 59 in 5.1 overs for the fifth wicket with Ballance, a partnership ended when the former skied Keith Barker’s left-arm seam to long-off.

When Dom Bess edged Barker behind for a golden duck two balls later, Yorkshire were 296-6 in the 85th with a lead of 376.

As Ballance approached his hundred, Hampshire had all nine outfielders on the boundary, making his job of pulling his 85th ball for one easy before the familiar celebration of raising his bat here commenced. The declaration came four balls later.

In the 19 overs before close, Hampshire lost opener Holland and left-handed Tom Alsop.

Holland fell to a stunning one-handed catch from Brook diving low to his left at third slip off Ben Coad as the score fell to 9-1 in the fifth.

Then, in the day’s penultimate over, Bess had Alsop caught at mid-off by Ballance playing forwards – 26-2 in the 18th.

Hampshire will begin day three needing 367 more to win.

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