Yorkshire 310 for 3 having won the toss and elected to bat
Different ground. Same week. Same story. Centurion Gary Ballance and third-wicket partner Joe Root advanced Yorkshire’s cause again.
This time it was Hampshire who suffered at the Ageas Bowl.
The White Rose are already in an excellent position to push for their first Specsavers County Championship win of the season, at the second attempt, having closed day one on 310-3 from 96 overs.
On Monday, Ballance and Root both hit hundreds – something the latter narrowly missed out on here – and put on an unbroken 253 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge to secure a draw.
Today, on a similarly docile pitch, they shared 182 inside 63 overs after Steve Patterson had won the toss.
Ballance finished unbeaten on 120 off 267 balls and Root was out late in the day for 94 off 189.
Make no mistake, Yorkshire’s bowlers will have to work hard for 20 wickets to win. But they should have the best part of two and a half days to get them if things go well during the second morning.
Only when Harry Brook inside-edged former West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards onto his stumps for five to leave Yorkshire 21-1 in the seventh over was there any concern.
From there, it was largely plain sailing against a Hampshire side who beat Essex here last week.
Adam Lyth’s 67 ensured he went beyond the 10,000 career first-class runs mark. He got there with an eye-catching cover driven four off Kyle Abbott to take him to 28.
Lyth and Ballance had added 88 before the former gloved Edwards behind down the leg-side shortly before lunch as the score fell to 109-2 in the 28th over.
Both Ballance and Root have happy memories of this ground.
Root, then aged 21, scored a brilliant 222 not out here for Yorkshire in 2012 prior to making his England debut.
Earlier this week, he described the innings as “almost a bit of a launchpad” for his career.
Ballance, meanwhile, has an incredible first-class record here for Yorkshire and England.
This is his eighth match in Southampton, and he is within only 21 of 1,000 runs in only his eighth match at an average of 89.
In 2014, he scored a Test century against India, and in his last two Championship matches prior to this he scored two hundreds and a double ton.
This alliance was different to Notts on Monday.
Then, they were really tested, often with short-pitched bowling, by Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, Luke Fletcher and Paul Coughlin. But Hampshire were unable to exert the same pressure.
Lyth crunched a pull against Berg just in front of square for six shortly after reaching 50 off 68 balls.
Then, after he fell at 109-2, it was all about close mates Root and Ballance.
Ballance was the first to 50, off 102 balls, and they really must be sick of the sight of him in these parts.
Root lofted England limited overs team-mate Liam Dawson’s left-arm spin for six over long-off before reaching 50 off 97 balls as tea approached.
Yorkshire went into the evening at 224-2, and Root overtook Ballance in the late seventies having been 33 runs behind when he arrived at the crease.
They brought up their 150 stand (259-2) in the 78th over as Hampshire prepared to take the new ball, and by that stage Ballance had overtaken Root again to move into the nineties.
He reached his latest ton off 214 balls as Hampshire delayed taking the new ball. Unfortunately Dawson bowled Root six short of his century – 291-3 in the 90th over. Patterson finished the day as night-watchman.