Shahzad sparkles to leave Hampshire in trouble
Hampshire 189 for 6 v Yorkshire 355
Four wickets for Ajmal Shahzad put Yorkshire on top in their battle for supremacy against Hampshire on the second day of the County Championship Division One match at Headingley.
Twice the England paceman claimed a wicket with the second ball of a spell on his way to figures of four for 48 as the visitors made uncertain progress towards Yorkshire's laboured 355 off 124.4 overs and at the close Hampshire were still 166 runs adrift on 189 for 6.
Earlier, Shahzad had remained virtually strokeless in the later stages of a defiant innings of 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 7 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 off 179 balls with 10 fours and a six, caught behind off Kabir Ali.
Only nine runs 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-overs stage Yorkshire were 317 for 8, 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 Shahzad 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.
Another astute piece of captaincy by Andrew Gale brought back Bresnan and Adams edged an intended drive off his first ball to wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow. The seventh short rain interruption came soon after tea at 77 for 2 when the 61.5 overs bowled in the day so far had produced a mere 131 runs.
Legspinner Adil Rashid joined the attack but the next wicket came when Shahzad returned for a second spell and once again he struck with his second ball which was deflected to Adam Lyth at second slip by McKenzie.
Shahzad continued to pose big problems and a perfect yorker to James Vince trapped him plumb lbw to leave Hampshire struggling on 119 for 4, but Johann Myburgh remained firm and he moved to his 50 by pulling Rashid for a six to go alongside his 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.