Yorkshire 398 Hampshire 115-5: Hampshire in pain as Hoggard 'nip' takes five

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The Independent Online

Matthew Hoggard was back to his aggressive best yesterday as he helped to put Yorkshire in charge of affairs in their opening County Championship match of the new campaign.

The 31-year-old Hoggard had the Hampshire top order in all sorts of trouble as he claimed the first five wickets to fall with a superb spell of sustained pace bowling that earned him his best bowling figures (5 for 51 to date) for Yorkshire since taking 5 for 34 against Worcestershire last May.

He put in a particularly lethal pre-tea burst to pick off the top three in just 26 balls – a display that was witnessed by Geoff Miller, the national selector.

Opener Michael Brown was the first to go, getting an inside edge to a Hoggard delivery that flew to short leg, where Andrew Gale, who had reached his century in the morning, took the catch.

Initially the Yorkshire appeals for the catch were put on hold while the umpire Mike Harris consulted with Peter Willey his colleague at square leg to confirm that the ball had carried.

Jimmy Adams followed, chopping on when attempting to cut a ball that he shouldn't have and the trio was completed when Michael Carberry's drive flew off the edge low to fourth slip where Tim Bresnan pulled off a brilliant catch.

But Hoggard had not finished. Tea was barely over when John Crawley played around one that came back a little and was bowled.

There have been rumblings that Hoggard has lost his 'nip' of late, he was dropped by England after the first Test against New Zealand in the winter, but Yorkshire coach Martyn Moxon said: "He has not lost his nip, not when everything is going in the right place, his feet, arms and so on. His pace is up there, around the 83mph mark."

He confirmed that when he had Michael Lumb lbw with a fuller ball that swung into the left-hander, to pick up his 10th five-for for Yorkshire and 20th overall in his First Class career.

Earlier, Gale could hardly be described as having breezed to three figures. It took him a quarter of an hour to turn his overnight 99 into the second hundred of his First Class career but he eventually got there with a swivel pull for four off James Tomlinson.

Gale, alongside Ajmal Shahzad, went on to pile up 78 runs for the eighth wicket. Shahzad scored a competent 35, while that man Hoggard did his best to get Yorkshire to maximum batting points with an unbeaten 19, but despite four boundaries he lost last man Deon Kruis with Yorkshire two runs short of 400.

The Yorkshire cause was helped by the absence of the injured Shane Bond (right ankle) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (sore neck) from the Hampshire attack, although both should bowl second time around.