Hampshire chief: Yorkshire, it's over to you
Giles White surveyed the first three days of Hampshire's County Championship division one battle with Yorkshire and told the visitors: The ball is in your court.
The reigning champions, who are bidding for a third consecutive top-flight crown, will resume on day four at the Ageas Bowl with a lead of 202 runs and eight second-innings wickets remaining.
Meanwhile, Hampshire are scrapping for survival at the foot of the table.
But after the majority of the third day was washed out by rain, White is adamant it is up to Yorkshire to gamble in a bid to force a result.
If the Headingley outfit, who began the game five points behind leaders Middlesex, do want to win the game, they must risk defeat to their relegation-threatened hosts.
White, who is Hampshire’s director of cricket, said: ‘The game is in Yorkshire’s hand.
‘And they might try to force a result today, which would open the door for us.
‘But that is for them to make that call.
‘We will come in this morning and see what the weather is like.
‘If there is weather around, we will see where that leaves us.
‘We will react to whatever is in front of us.’
White believes the wicket remains good and it is the overhead conditions which have shaped the contest so far.
Yorkshire batted first but could only muster 281 in the face of some good bowling by the home seamers.
Hampshire’s reply started well and at 199 for four they were contemplating a first-innings lead.
However, they lost six wickets for just 23 runs to hand the advantage to Yorkshire.
And the title holders have made the most of it so far, reaching 143 for two before rain curtailed play on the third day after just 19 overs.
Former England opener Adam Lyth was the only wicket to fall – caught by Sean Ervine off the bowling of Brad Wheal (two for 52).
Gary Ballance will resume on 46 not out, while his skipper Andrew Gale is unbeaten on 19.
White added: ‘It is a good cricket wicket and hasn’t changed much throughout the game.
‘The overhead conditions have changed the way the ball has behaved.
‘If you get it in good areas for long enough you get the rewards.
‘We feel we need to get a win over the next couple of games.
‘If that opportunity presents itself today, we will look at the odds and the risks and we will be open to that.
‘You always look at the weather, you look at the amount of overs you are likely to face.
‘It will affect both sides if you are searching for wickets or runs.
‘Yorkshire could bat well enough to put the game beyond our reach but the ball is in their court.’
Hampshire, who have two matches remaining after this, were 14 points adrift of safety before the game.