Tim Bresnan completed a career best haul of 5-28 as Yorkshire secured a first-innings lead of 27 over Hampshire on day two at Emerald Headingley before confidently strengthening their grip with the bat from mid-afternoon onwards.
Bresnan’s ninth five-wicket haul of his first-class career was the standout contribution as Hampshire, replying to a first-innings 184, were bowled out for 157 in the early stages of a rain-affected afternoon session.
Yorkshire then reached close at 172-3 in their second innings from 47 overs, a commanding lead of 199.
Opener Adam Lyth’s unbeaten 60 represents the highest score of the match so far as Yorkshire head towards Division One safety.
Bresnan claimed the first three wickets of the day, making it five in a row for him, including two late on day one. And he returned his first five-wicket haul since August 2016.
A total of 12 overs were lost from the day’s allotted 104 following a 50-minute rain delay immediately after lunch.
Yorkshire lost Jeet Raval and Harry Brook (28) in reaching tea at 65-2.
Raval was caught behind off new ball quick Fidel Edwards before Brook, who hit six fours in his 28, was caught behind off left-arm spinner Liam Dawson’s first ball at the start of the session’s final over.
Play took place in blustery conditions throughout the day, with umpires Graham Lloyd and Michael Gough using the heavy bails.
England fringe spinner Dawson later trapped Gary Ballance lbw as Yorkshire’s second innings fell to 81-3 in the 21st over, a lead of 108.
Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (33) then shared an entertaining fourth-wicket stand of 51.
Kohler-Cadmore even hoisted Dawson high over mid-wicket for six to move into the thirties before he was caught behind off Ian Holland, leaving the score at 132-4 in the 32nd over.
Lyth reached his fifty off 114 balls, including six fours, late in the day. Wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall will begin day three unbeaten on 14. The pair have shared an unbroken 40 so far.
Earlier, Bresnan, 33-years-old, had Kyle Abbott lbw for eight, Tom Alsop caught at second slip for 24 and Dawson superbly caught and bowled one-handed for 10 as the score fell to 110-8 in the 42nd over.
Matthew Waite then bowled Ian Holland to delay lunch with Hampshire 140-9, with the visitors going on to score just 77 runs in 40 morning overs.
Rain then arrived to delay the start of the afternoon session by just short of an hour.
When play did resume, Ben Coad quickly wrapped up the Hampshire innings by trapping Gareth Berg lbw for 25, the highest score of the visiting innings alongside captain James Vince.
Assuming bottom side Worcestershire go on to lose their clash with Essex at Chelmsford, Yorkshire will now need a total of seven points from this and next week’s clash with Worcester at New Road to secure their Division One future for 2019.
There is the prospect of rain during the next two days.
If that does eventuate for any significant period of time, it may be that Yorkshire opt for the cautious approach and protect the five points they would get for the draw rather than chase 16 and risk losing.