Yorkshire pace bowler Matthew Hoggard showed watching chairman of England selectors Geoff Miller that he is on form with three wickets in five overs to have Hampshire struggling in their reply.
It went a long way to off-setting Yorkshire’s disappointment at missing out on maximum batting bonus points by just two runs.
And it proved impossible to keep Andrew Gale out of the action. He racked up a hundred – the second of his First Class career – in Yorkshire’s first innings and then had a hand in the first Hampshire wicket to fall.
Hampshire opener Michael Brown got an inside edge to a Hoggard delivery and Gale, fielding at short leg, dived forward to cling on to the ball. Umpire Mike ‘Pasty’ Harris at the bowler’s end looked to his colleague Peter Willey at square leg to confirm that the ball had carried before raising his finger to indicate the frantic Yorkshire appeal for the dismissal had been upheld.
Next man to fall in Hoggard’s wizard spell was Jimmy Adams who attempted to cut a ball that was far too close to his body and succeeded only in chopping on. Shortly before tea came the wicket of opener Michael Carberry who edged low and hard to fourth slip where Tim Bresnan dived to his right to take a brilliant catch.
Earlier Gale had already contributed mightily to the Yorkshire cause taking his overnight 99 to a satisfying 138, and, importantly, ensuring that the tail chipped in with a couple of productive partnerships.
The eighth wicket stand between Gale and the talented all-rounder Ajmal Shahzad was worth 78 by the time the centurion departed, playing on to a fuller length ball from left arm paceman James Tomlinson, ending a six-hour vigil at the crease.
Shahzad fell shortly afterwards, but Hoggard managed to get Yorkshire tantalisingly close to the 400-mark with a breezy innings that contained four well-struck boundaries. Sadly Deon Kruis could not resist a swing at Tomlinson and edged a catch to slip.