Shane Warne's visitors ensured that Michael Vaughan's return to the County Championship after seven months here yesterday was as hectic as an episode of Doctor Who.
In the space of 13 balls the England captain had to dive to avoid being run out, in a a stiff early test of that knee, was bowled neck and crop by Billy Taylor off a no-ball, and then, three balls later, was taken at slip off a ball that seamed and lifted, having scored one. Michael is a master of the wry smile.
Ironically, he had to open on a morning when this pitch was as lively as its past reputation. Yorkshire have been concerned about a square that wins golden opinions from pitch inspectors but offers little help to their bowlers. Yesterday, after much rain and with a cold wind, the ball fizzed enough for Hampshire to have the close field on red alert and two stunning catches, from Nick Pothas, to send back Anthony McGrath, and Warne, put Yorkshire deep in trouble.
The crucial blow was the indecisive call that led to the running out of Darren Lehmann by a 30-yard direct hit from Mike Carberry at midwicket. The Australian was so furious that he hurled his helmet into the boundary boards.
From 55 for 4 the innings was rescued with a stand of 120 by Michael Lumb, who proved grittier than usual, and Craig White. The pitch eased until Warne appeared at the rugby end to wheel away for most of the rest of the innings.
The maestro's previous aggregate figures on this ground were 5 for 349 but he fooled White with a top-spinner and threatened to run through the side until Tim Bresnan, an uninhibited hitter, smacked him around, including a six over long-on. Jason Gillespie, who has been watching Warne for a decade, would have seen that the turn here is so slow that a sharp eye and quick hands can play him off the pitch.
The pair passed Yorkshire's previous ninth-wicket best against Hampshire, 100 in 1899, after Warne had seen Gillespie missed at first slip on 22.