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CLOSE OF PLAY REPORT: YORKSHIRE VS HAMPSHIRE - DAY 4

— 30 May 2019

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Gary Ballance recorded his fifth hundred in as many County Championship matches before his side briefly sniffed victory with the ball, only to be forced to settle for the draw against new Division One leaders Hampshire at Emerald Headingley.

The White Rose set Hampshire a victory target of 279 in 48 overs, reduced them to 35-3 at tea, including two wickets for Ben Coad, only to see them recover to close on 158-5 two overs early.

It means third-placed Yorkshire have maintained their unbeaten start to the Specsavers County Championship campaign, with a second draw added to two wins.

But they could have had more with a bit more help from the weather gods. Every day of this game was shortened and more than 100 overs were lost.

Yorkshire, who claimed eight points to Hampshire’s nine, declared their second innings midway through the afternoon on 332-5, the feature of which being Ballance’s 170-ball 100.

They started the final day on 207-3 with a lead of 153 in their second innings, only for rain to shorten the morning session to only half an hour’s play between 11.45am and 12.15pm, in which time Ballance moved from 83 not out overnight to 100 off 164 balls.

The left-hander, who hit 15 fours, has enjoyed a remarkable start to the season.

He has now scored a century in each of Yorkshire’s four matches and has five on the trot going back to the final game of last season at Worcestershire.

The 29-year-old has six career Championship centuries against Hampshire and has also made his way to 538 Division One runs this season at 89.66.

Of the 87 times he has reached 50 in his first-class career, he has turned 39 of those into hundreds, an impressive conversion rate of 44.8.

He reached his latest hundred immediately before an early lunch was called, only to fall five balls after the resumption at 1.25pm when leg-spinner Mason Crane had him lbw to leave Yorkshire at 239-4 with a lead of 185 with 67 overs remaining in the day.

Jack Leaning later lost his middle stump to Keith Barker for 41 (268-5) before sixth-wicket pair Jonny Tattersall and David Willey (26) busily added to Yorkshire’s lead with an unbroken 64-run stand inside 11 overs.

Tattersall led the way 51 not out off 53 balls and reached his second four-day fifty of the season – the other was at the Ageas Bowl last month – with back-to-back boundaries against Barker before the declaration came two balls later.

Duanne Olivier, who actually struggled a bit with his run-up at various stages from the Kirkstall Lane End, ensured Yorkshire made the ideal start to their late victory bid with the breakthrough after eight balls when Oli Soames top-edged an attempted pull and was caught and bowled.

Coad then uprooted Ajinkya Rahane’s middle stump with an in-swinger which feathered the inside edge of the Indian’s bat as Hampshire slipped to 7-2 in the third over.

And when the same bowler had visiting captain Sam Northeast caught low down at mid-wicket by Willey in the final over before tea, the score was 35-3 with 35.3 overs remaining.

Unfortunately, opener Joe Weatherley and Rilee Rossouw batted through the majority of the evening to share 102. Both men reached fifties before Weatherley and Ian Holland fell to Bess – 153-5 with 4.4 overs left.

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