Yorkshire ride on Rudolph 99

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Jacques Rudolph

Jacques Rudolph moves serenely towards 99 at the Rose Bowl. The South African's contribution helped Yorkshire dominate Hampshire

Jacques Rudolph came within a run of celebrating his return to the Yorkshire ranks with a century as bottom-placed Hampshire endured another difficult day at the Rose Bowl.

South African Rudolph, who only rejoined the club a fortnight ago, seemed sure to score the 43rd hundred of his first-class career until he drove spinner Imran Tahir to short midwicket where Dominic Cork clutched a low catch.

Rudolph's dismissal after 211 balls, and 11 fours and a six, came as a surprise because the tidy left-hander had offered no hint of a chance until then.

His dismissal was a rare moment of success for the hosts as Yorkshire, after winning the toss, ended the opening day on 318 for three.

Left-arm pace bowler Chris Wood promised much for Hampshire in an opening spell that began with seven successive maidens.

Wood also took a wicket, that of Rudolph's opening partner Joe Sayers, who edged him to wicketkeeper Michael Bates after managing just eight from 50 balls.

Yorkshire went into the match without Tim Bresnan, Joe Root and Jonathan Bairstow - all on international duty - but they were not missed as the visitors quickly got on top.

Rudolph and captain Andrew Gale took the match away from Hampshire with a stand of 129 for the second wicket in 32 overs.

The former reached his 50 with a six over midwicket off Danny Briggs before Hampshire made their second breakthrough with the score on 149.

Gale, who had struck 10 fours in his 54, lifted Tahir to midwicket where James Vince held a catch above his head.

There was no respite for Hampshire, still looking for their first win of the season, as Anthony McGrath joined Rudolph in another profitable alliance of 55.

Rudolph was the third to go at 204 but his side maintained a firm grip on proceedings as McGrath received able support from Gary Ballance

The duo shared an unbroken partnership of 114 for the fourth wicket, with McGrath, who was fortunate to survive on 20 when Jimmy Adams missed a chance at short-leg off Tahir, finishing the day unbeaten on 65 from 188 deliveries.

The aggressive Ballance reached his half-century just before stumps and was 50 not out with eight fours.

Wood's miserly start helped him to respectable figures of 1-42 from 18 overs, while Tahir was the most successful in terms of wickets with 2-89 from 31 overs.

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