Pleasing day for Hants - but it could have been even better

Michael Bates made the first century of his career before being run out    Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Bates made the first century of his career before being run out Picture: Neil Marshall
Tom Alsop. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire crushed in T20 by Somerset

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There was no doubting it was a good day – but it might have been even better.

Hampshire are without doubt on top at the midway point of their Championship clash at Yorkshire.

After a frustrating morning of rain, Simon Katich and Michael Bates were keen to pick up where they left off following their evening-session run feast on day one.

Both had personal milestones to reach. Bates – on 88 not out – was after his first century of his career, while Katich – on 180 – was closing in on a double ton.

While Bates managed his feat, breezing through the nineties without a care in the world, his joy turned to frustration soon afterwards when he was run out by a dodgy call from the Australian while on 103.

With Bates at the non-striker’s end, he slipped as Katich set off for a quick single and was left well short of his ground when the Yorkshire keeper whipped off the bails at the other end.

It’s certainly better to be run out on 103 than 99, but Bates deserved a better end to a fine knock, although it could yet be a key moment in his fledgling career as he continues to prove that his batting can match his wicket-keeping.

Another tame end to a tremendous innings came for Katich, who attempted to loft Adil Rashid over the fielders to bring up his double century, only to miscue to Joe Root.

Katich knew his fate and was already on his way off after his 265-ball innings that included 21 fours when Root took the easy catch.

And the Hampshire innings didn’t last much longer with those two gone.

While 427 was a very decent total, it should have been beyond 450, but three wickets before stumps and a bowling performance full of intent will give skipper Jimmy Adams plenty of hope.

Kabir Ali struck the first blow to remove Adam Lyth (four) with the score at four for one.

And then the visitors were in command as Yorkshire suffered a double loss to leave them at 32 for three.

First, David Balcombe found a beauty of an outswinger to tempt the in-form Root to edge behind.

New batsman Andrew Gale was then soon trudging back after a great piece of fielding from Michael Carberry.

Carberry’s celebratory knee slide suggested he was quite chuffed with his pick up and direct hit to run him out.

But it was to be the last wicket of the day as Phil Jaques (59 not out) and Gary Ballance (26 not out) rode their luck to drag Yorkshire to 100 for three at the close – still 327 runs behind.