Shahzad to the fore
Four wickets for Ajmal Shahzad put Yorkshire on top of Hampshire on the second day of the LV=County Championship Division One match at Headingley Carnegie.
Twice the England seamer claimed a wicket with the second ball of a spell on his way to figures of 4-48 as the visitors made uncertain progress towards Yorkshire’s laboured 355 all out from 124.4 overs. At the close Hampshire were still 166 adrift on 189 for six.
Earlier, Shahzad had remained virtually strokeless in the later stages of a defiant 48 but his fighting qualities with both bat and ball will not have gone unnoticed by the England selectors.
Yorkshire resumed the second day on 304 for seven in 96 overs with Tim Bresnan on 82 and Shahzad 42, and a square-leg boundary to Bresnan in the opening over from Dominic Cork raised the century partnership.
But any suggestion that Yorkshire were intent on making a further 42 inside 14 overs to pick up a fourth batting bonus point was quickly scotched as the eighth-wicket pair made little attempt to go for the required runs and eight overs into the day Bresnan departed for 87 with 10 fours and a six, caught behind off Kabir Ali.
Only nine had been added to the overnight score at this stage and Shahzad moved slowly on to 48 before he edged Cork to first slip where Neil McKenzie juggled with the ball and put it down.
Neither side could break the impasse and at the 110-over stage Yorkshire were 317 for eight, having collected three batting bonus points while Hampshire missed out on a third bowling point.
The first hour brought 13 runs and there were ironic cheers when Ryan Sidebottom edged consecutive deliveries from David Griffiths to the third man boundary, but Shahzad had still not moved off 48 when he steered Cork to Liam Dawson at second slip.
He had been stuck on that score for 35 minutes and 27 balls and had added just six singles from 58 deliveries since the day’s play began.
Frequent showers brought forward the lunch interval and the hard-working Cork picked up his fifth wicket early in the afternoon by bowling Steve Patterson to leave Sidebottom unbeaten on 25.
Hampshire’s reply was soon interrupted by showers but in between the short breaks for rain, Jimmy Adams and Dawson made little attempt to quicken the pace against the new-ball pairing of Sidebottom and Bresnan.
It was the introduction of Shahzad at the Kirkstall Lane end at 42 without loss after 15 overs that brought the breakthrough, his second ball pinning Dawson lbw, and the seamer continued to work up a lively pace although he temporarily lost his direction with a couple of wides in one over - the first going through the slips to the boundary.
In an astute piece of captaincy, Andrew Gale brought back Bresnan and Adams edged an intended drive off his first ball to wicketkeeper Jonathan Bairstow.
The seventh short rain interruption came soon after tea at 77 for two when the 61.5 overs bowled in the day so far had produced a mere 131 runs.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid joined the attack but the next wicket came when Shahzad returned and forced McKenzie to edge to Adam Lyth at second slip.
Shahzad continued to pose big problems and a perfect yorker to James Vince trapped him plumb lbw to leave Hampshire struggling on 119 for four, but Johann Myburgh remained firm and he moved to a fifty by pulling Rashid for a six to go alongside five fours.
Having moved to 64, however, he also fell to Shahzad - caught behind on the drive - shortly after Nic Pothas had been bowled off his pads by Sidebottom. At stumps Sean Ervine was unbeaten on 16 and Cork six.