Jimmy Adams hit an attritional fifty in tricky conditions as relegation-threatened Hampshire edged the first day of their LV= County Championship Division One clash with Yorkshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Opener Adams batted throughout the morning and half of the afternoon to build Hampshire a platform on a bowler-friendly track as they closed on 219-4. The south coast county realistically need to win at least one of their last two Championship games to beat the drop and avoid defeat against champions Yorkshire.
The Tykes were mourning the death of Brian Close, who played for the county for 21 years and captained them to four Championship titles, and wore black armbands as a mark of respect.
Hampshire openers Michael Carberry and Adams nervously reached lunch without losing their wickets with the ball moving both off the pitch and through the air.
Teenage fast bowler Matthew Fisher typified the tricky batting conditions by bowling 29 dot balls before Adams managed to push a drive through the covers. Fisher, in his first Championship appearance since April, ended the session after only going for six runs in his six morning overs – as Adams and Carberry played and missed frequently.
After battling hard to get to lunch unscathed it took just 12 deliveries after the interval for former England batsman Carberry to return to the dressing room.
Jack Brooks managed to angle the ball across the left hander to force a feathered nick through to Andy Hodd – the batsman departing for a frustrating 28.
And in the next over the visitors struck again, this time Tim Bresnan moving one off the seam to a straight-driving James Vince, the middle stump bent back.
Adams – on the back of a first Championship ton of the year at Taunton – reached an unassuming fifty, as he occupied 106 balls at the crease. But he fell soon for 52 when Alex Lees stooped low to hang on to an edge at first slip.Will Smith and Liam Dawson put on 72 for the fourth wicket, as Hampshire’s run rate accelerated to around three an over with the ball softening.
The former closed in on a deserved half century but touched a leg-side delivery from Brooks to find the safe hands of Hodd for 46.
Hampshire reached 200 to score their first potentially vital bonus point of the match before the rain poured down to end the day 13 overs prematurely.