A six-star morning gave title-chasing Hampshire the early advantage at Scarborough - but things could have been much worse for Yorkshire during a rain-affected opening day.
Yorkshire slipped to 33 for six in the opening 21 overs of this LV= Insurance County Championship fixture before later recovering to close on 158 for eight inside 55 thanks to half-centuries from Will Fraine and Dom Bess.
Second-placed Hampshire’s overseas seamers Kyle Abbott and Muhammad Abbas shared seven wickets, the former finishing with four for 36 from 11.2 overs.
The mid-table hosts slumped as a potent attack made use of significant movement through the air and off the pitch before Fraine and Bess, 53 and 67 respectively, shared 116 for the seventh wicket through the majority of the afternoon.
There was no play beyond tea, taken at 3.45pm, and the day shorn of nearly 42 overs.
After Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson elected to bat upon his return to the side following a week out with a hamstring injury, Keith Barker set the tone for Hampshire by trapping George Hill lbw for a golden duck after only five balls.
Pakistani Abbas then benefited from two batters misjudging attempted leaves; Adam Lyth played on and Jonny Tattersall was bowled. Sandwiched in between, he trapped Tom Kohler-Cadmore lbw as the score fell to 20 for four in the 14th over.
South African Abbott then added the wickets of Matthew Waite and Matthew Revis caught in the slips - 33 for six.
The vast majority of those runs were all scored behind the wicket.
Given the absence of some heavy batting artillery for Yorkshire, including Harry Brook due to England T20 duty, added to the potency of Hampshire’s bowling attack, it was a surprise that Patterson opted to bat.
But, on a North Marine Road pitch which offers notorious bounce, it may have been wise to insert given the addition of unsettled weather to those aforementioned factors.
However, Fraine and Bess went some way to vindicating the decision from lunch time onwards.
During the morning, Hampshire looked like breaking through almost every other ball as they found the perfect length to bowl - not too full, not too short.
At stages, a total of 75 looked a long shot for the hosts.
Afterwards, their lengths were more varied as Fraine and Bess excelled to the delight of an usually sparse Scarborough Festival crowd.
The first of the two rain breaks came at an important time for Yorkshire. That was two balls after the sixth wicket had fallen shortly after 12.30pm.
Had a full morning’s play been possible, Fraine and Bess may not have been there to write the afternoon tale.
Fraine drove handsomely. He took two boundaries off Ian Holland in the afternoon’s opening over to set the tone for a Yorkshire fightback against a Hampshire side chasing their eighth win in eleven games this season.
Bess scored his runs on both sides of the wicket and was more fortunate. He edged boundaries over the slips off Abbas and Holland.
Abbott then reasserted Hampshire’s authority. He had Fraine, earlier dropped on one, caught at third slip off an attempted pull, leaving the score at 149 for seven in the 51st over.
Fraine had reached his first fifty of the season in his fourth game off 122 balls moments before Bess reached his third off 83.
Joe Weatherley atoned for his earlier error at third slip with a smart one-handed catch above his head after the ball had looped up off Fraine’s glove.
Bess then fell with what proved to be the day’s last ball when a regulation edge was pouched by Liam Dawson at second slip off the same bowler.
Umpires Peter Hartley and Neil Mallender abandoned the day just before 5pm.
Fifties for Ben Brown and Keith Barker helped Hampshire maintain their advantage over Yorkshire as wickets fell again on day two of this intriguing LV= Insurance County Championship fixture at Scarborough.
Hampshire, replying to 159, recovered from 72 for six after lunch to 218 all out thanks to an 88-run seventh-wicket partnership between Brown and Barker, who made 53 and 52 respectively.
A day which started with Yorkshire on 158 for eight first time around saw them end it on 23 for one from 13 overs of their second innings, trailing by 36.
Kyle Abbott returned an excellent six for 36 from 12.1 for Hampshire before Jordan Thompson impressed with five for 60 from 15.2 for the hosts, including his 100th first-class wicket. Both were season’s best hauls.
Five wickets fell in the day’s first seven overs, intertwined with two rain breaks through to 2.15pm.
Yorkshire resumed on 158 for eight and lost their last two wickets inside 11 balls to the excellent Abbott, who had Steve Patterson caught behind and Thompson caught at second slip.
Yorkshire’s innings included nine single-figure scores, Patterson and Thompson making nought and six.
Hampshire had reduced Yorkshire to 33 for six and encountered early issues themselves, slipping to 12 for three in five overs as swing, seam and bounce wreaked havoc.
The first two wickets immediately preceded morning rain breaks, with lunch taken at five for two.
Ian Holland edged Ben Coad to fourth slip for a duck before opening partner Felix Organ was trapped lbw for five by Thompson.
When play resumed after lunch, Nick Gubbins was also adjudged lbw for four.
Joe Weatherley and James Vince steadied with a fourth-wicket partnership of 37. But the innings was soon in choppy waters again at 72 for six in the 26th over.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore played his part with two first slip catches - he finished with four in all.
First, captain Patterson trapped Weatherley lbw for 23 before the same bowler had his opposite number James Vince caught at slip for 15.
And when Kohler-Cadmore went to his right to hold on again off a Liam Dawson edge, it handed Thompson a second wicket and left the title-chasers still 87 behind with only four wickets left.
This was a big day in Scarborough, with Sir Tom Jones playing an evening concert at the town’s Open Air Theatre.
Of course, he sings ‘It’s Not Unusual’. But this season, watching wickets fall was unusual for Yorkshire supporters, their county having been involved in a plethora of high-scoring draws on featherbed pitches.
It is certainly not unusual, however, for wicketkeeper-batter Brown to score runs against Yorkshire. This was the seventh time he had reached 50 against them in 17 first-class innings for Sussex and Hampshire.
Both he and Barker played significant roles in last month’s win against Yorkshire at the Ageas Bowl, and they were at it again in entertaining fashion.
After settling, they counter-attacked in a near 16-over alliance either side of tea.
Barker reached his fifty off 49 balls with a sumptuous six over long-on against Coad before getting a leading edge to cover as Thompson secured his 100th wicket - 160 for seven.
Brown flashed Thompson over the slips shortly afterwards in reaching his off 75, only to fall caught behind to the same bowler next ball, leaving the score at 175 for eight.
Abbott continued his memorable match with an important 22, but he edged Patterson (three for 49) to Kohler-Cadmore, who clung on again as James Fuller top-edged a pull at Thompson having also made 22.
That ended Hampshire’s innings inside 52 overs and left Yorkshire 59 behind.
They lost George Hill lbw to Muhammad Abbas before close.
Sixty four overs have been lost to rain across two days and not one over of spin has been bowled.
Title hopefuls Hampshire face a challenging final day chase against Yorkshire at Scarborough after the hosts set a 214 target with an over my dead body type batting display on day three.
With Yorkshire bowled out for 272 in their second innings, and Hampshire closing on nine without loss, this LV= Insurance County Championship fixture is fascinatingly poised on a tricky pitch.
Hampshire are bidding to maintain pressure on Division One leaders with an eighth win in 11 games, while mid-table Yorkshire are aiming for only a second win in 10.
Wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall top-scored with 63, opener Adam Lyth made 59 and Matthew Waite contributed an important 47.
All were handed lives as Hampshire dropped six catches, including three by Joe Weatherley, during a sunny East Coast day. But the fabulous Kyle Abbott added four for 77 from 27 overs to finish with 10 for 113 in the match.
Yorkshire enjoyed an encouraging morning, advancing from 23 for one to 98 for three, a lead of 39.
Despite losing Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Will Fraine, they wiped off their first-innings deficit of 59 and ensured a relative calm that had not been seen during the first two mornings.
On day one, Yorkshire slumped to 33 for six in their first innings. On day two, four wickets fell in only five overs of play.
Kohler-Cadmore was first to go when he was caught behind off South African overseas Abbott via a combination of inside-edge and pad for 19 before Fraine was bowled by Ian Holland, leaving the score at 66 for three in the 32nd.
Lyth picked up a good percentage of his runs on the drive, though some were edged.
So often this season, Yorkshire have been hurt by less than proficient catching. On this occasion, however, they were the beneficiaries of Hampshire errors which could end up costing them the fixture.
Their half dozen drops included Lyth twice in the slips off Abbott on 14 and 56 - Weatherley and James Vince were the culprits either side of lunch.
During an afternoon which saw only Lyth fall - caught behind down leg off James Fuller - wicketkeeper Ben Brown dropped Tattersall on 26 and Waite on 11 off Fuller. Both were diving away to his right.
Lyth’s dismissal to Fuller, which left Yorkshire at 119 for four in the 58th over of the innings, ended a 53-run stand with Tattersall either side of lunch.
Tattersall went on to share 78 through into the evening with Waite.
For most part, Yorkshire eked out the runs against Hampshire’s envied seam attack.
In the final 20 minutes of the afternoon, fifth-wicket pair Tattersall and Waite took Yorkshire’s lead beyond 100, the former edging a boundary to third-man off Fuller as the score moved to 161 for four.
Moments later, Tattersall, who clipped, worked and pushed his runs, reached his fifty off 108 balls.
Muhammad Abbas struck twice with the new ball shortly after tea, bowling Waite and getting Tattersall caught low down at a wide third slip by Holland. The Tattersall dismissal left the score at 210 for six in the 90th over, a home lead of 151.
If wickets did not come as frequently as Hampshire had hoped earlier in the day, they did late on as Abbott struck three times in 13 balls - 242 for nine in the 107th, a 183 lead.
Dom Bess was trapped lbw before Jordan Thompson and Matthew Revis, for an important 24, were caught behind in the same over.
Steve Patterson and Ben Coad then added what could be a crucial 30 runs for the last wicket to push the lead beyond 200, the latter finishing 17 not out.
Fuller had Patterson caught in the gully, ironically by Weatherley, to leave Hampshire openers Holland and Felix Organ three overs to face before close.
Hampshire made light work of a potentially tricky final day chase of 214 at Scarborough to beat Yorkshire by seven wickets and maintain heavy pressure on LV= Insurance County Championship leaders Surrey.
Openers Felix Organ and Ian Holland superbly underpinned an eighth win in 11 games by sharing a tension-easing 135 partnership inside 39 overs to thwart a Yorkshire side who have now lost three of their last four games, including two at North Marine Road.
Organ top-scored with a 72 off 127 balls and Holland added 71 off 119. Both fell in the early afternoon as Hampshire slipped to 147 for three, paving the way for captain James Vince to complete the job with an unbeaten 43, hitting the winning runs to boot.
When the four-day campaign resumes after the Royal London Cup in September, the two sides will be fighting battles at either end of the Division One table.
The finer details are still to be determined by results elsewhere today. But Hampshire, who claimed 20 points, could be level on points with Surrey at the summit and Yorkshire third bottom having only accrued three.
Yorkshire, 33 for six early on day one, had high hopes of only a second win in 10 games this morning having battled back admirably.
But Hampshire have showed immense skill which highlights their position in the title race, completing victory 35 minutes before tea.
They were nine without loss in three overs and the conditions were suited to bowling, both via the pitch and overhead.
The hosts erred in both line and length as their confidence was shattered, the south coast county reaching lunch with a stranglehold on proceedings at 121 without loss after 35.
Hampshire reached 50 at the start of the 15th over of the innings, with boundaries coming on both sides of the wicket.
Holland worked boundaries off his pads, while Organ more handsomely pushed a couple of his own down the ground.
It quickly became a straightforward route to victory for Hampshire rather than a nip and tuck contest which had seemed likely.
Yorkshire’s unproductive morning was indicated by their introduction of off-spinner Dom Bess to bowl the 15th over of the day, with Hampshire 51 without loss.
The England fringe spinner had not been used at all during the first three days.
As Liam Dawson had done for Hampshire on day three, Bess got some purchase. But his threat was repelled.
Holland put his foot down during the latter stages of the morning.
He reached his fifty off 92 balls, reverse swept Bess for four and uppercut a six over third off Jordan Thompson, by which time Hampshire had sailed to 99 in the 31st over.
Organ, meanwhile, was the beneficiary of a sharp missed stumping on 37 by Jonny Tattersall off Bess.
Organ’s fifty was posted off 104 balls in the afternoon’s opening over, by which stage the score was 125 for none.
And when Holland guided a back-of-a-length ball from Ben Coad to Tom Kohler-Cadmore at first slip, in truth it felt nothing more than a consolatory strike for Yorkshire at 135 for one.
That soon became 147 for three in the 45th over thanks to a further strike from Coad and one for Bess.
Organ pulled a long hop from Bess to deep square-leg the ball after lofting the spinner over long-on for six before Coad trapped Joe Weatherley lbw for a duck.
Vince then clipped his first ball for four, later dragged Bess over wide long-on for six and shared an unbroken 67 for the fourth wicket with Nick Gubbins (20).
After the Royal London Cup, which starts next week, Hampshire’s next Championship fixture is against Northamptonshire at the Ageas Bowl on September 5.