Yorkshire and Hampshire are battling out a fascinating low-scoring LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Scarborough, with the visitors reaching the midway point holding the slender advantage.
Midway through the second evening, Hampshire secured a first-innings lead of 59, bowled out for 218 in reply to 159.
Jordan Thompson claimed an excellent 5-60 from 15.2 overs, including his 100th first-class wicket, added to three wickets for Steve Patterson and four catches at first slip for Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
Hampshire’s cause was advanced by Kyle Abbott, who completed a return of 6-36 from 12.1 in the first innings and added 22 with the bat, while Ben Brown and Keith Barker hit 53 and 52 respectively.
The latter two shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 88 either side of tea before Yorkshire closed second time around on 23-1 from 13 overs, trailing by 36.
Like day one, wickets tumbled at an alarming rate either side of morning rain.
Five of them fell inside the first seven overs of play, with Yorkshire resuming on 158-8.
Yorkshire’s innings was wrapped up for the addition of only one run in the day’s opening 11 balls by Abbott, who had Patterson caught behind and Thompson caught at second slip.
Abbott impressed, but so did Yorkshire’s seamers as they fought their way back into a Festival game which remains the number one show in town despite legendary crooner Sir Tom Jones playing down the road at the Open Air Theatre this evening.
A brief warning, the rest of this match report may or may not include a few cheesy Sir Tom related puns!
After an incredibly frustrating first half of the summer through injury, Ben Coad (two for 46 from 14 overs) was back in action and back in the wickets. But, hey, What’s New Pussycat?
Here is a bowler who, heading into this fixture, had taken 192 wickets in 48 previous first-class appearances.
Eight more for the addition of 103 runs or fewer would see him reach the 200-mark with an average below 20.
No English bowler has achieved that feat since Derbyshire’s Alan Ward in 1971.
Coad’s 193rd, and his first of this season, came when Ian Holland was squared up a back-of-a-length delivery and edged to fourth slip for a duck before opening partner Felix Organ was trapped lbw for five by a full Thompson delivery.
Those two wickets came immediately before morning rain breaks just before 11.30am and just after 12.30pm and leave Hampshire at 5-2.
Coad’s second wicket of the day came almost immediately after the afternoon resumption at 2.15pm, him also trapping Nick Gubbins lbw as the score fell to 12-3 after five overs.
That was the first of four afternoon wickets, including two for captain Patterson, the county’s Tiger.
Joe Weatherley and James Vince steadied Hampshire with a fourth-wicket partnership of 37, the former making 23 before falling lbw to Patterson – 49-4 after 15.
Kohler-Cadmore played his part with the first two of his four catches at first slip, helping Patterson oust his opposite number Vince for 15 (52-5 in the 17th).
It’s Not Unusual for Thompson to strike. He has been Yorkshire’s leading wicket-taker for the last two four-day seasons and is again this year. Here, he took his tally to 35 for 2022.
His second wicket came when Liam Dawson edged to Kohler-Cadmore, leaving Hampshire at 72-6 in the 26th over.
At that stage, a Yorkshire lead was very realistic. But the county know all too well about the capabilities of Brown and Barker.
Barker contributed heavily to his side’s victory at the Ageas Bowl last month, as did Brown, who has a fabulous career first-class record against Yorkshire.
Every time he comes across this fixture, he must think it’s the Green, Green Grass of Home having gone beyond 50 for the seventh time in 17 innings for Sussex and Hampshire.
After settling at the crease, Brown and Barker took the positive as Yorkshire erred in line and length for the first time.
Barker, for example, reached his half-century with a six over long-on off Coad, while Brown’s came as he flashed a boundary over the slips off Thompson.
Barker’s came in 49 balls, reached with a glorious six over long-on against Coad and Brown’s in 75.
Sandwiched in between the two milestones, Barker fell caught at cover off a leading edge against Thompson – the new ball seamer’s 100th first-class wicket in his 30th game. That left Hampshire at 160-7.
Brown then fell caught behind to the same bowler the ball after reaching his fifty, leaving the score at 175-8.
Abbott and James Fuller both made important 22s to push Hampshire beyond 200 and their lead beyond 50. But both edged catches to Kohler-Cadmore to wrap up the innings inside 52 overs.
Abbott’s was a regulation edge off Patterson and Fuller’s was a skied effort off a top-edged pull at Thompson.
Unfortunately, Yorkshire then lost George Hill for his second duck of the fixture, lbw to Muhammad Abbas, before close.