Yorkshire’s Arnie Sidebottom roared back to form with a brilliant display at Acklam Park, Middlesbrough when he grabbed three wickets in the space of 15 deliveries without conceding a run.
By mid-afternoon he has finished with five for 30 as Hampshire were dismissed for 130.
Sidebottom and Paul Jarvis made the most of a pitch which had variable bouince at one end and hardly any at the other end.
Hampshire captain Mark Nicholas won the toss but his side were plunged into trouble almost immediately after he chose to bat.
Robin Smith, hero of Hampshire’s Benson and Hedges quarter-final win over Worcestershire, looked in splendid form but the wicket Yorkshire particularly wanted came in the 41st over when Smith got a bottom edge off Jarvis and David Bairstow dived low to his right to take a good catch.
That was the signal for a batting collapse. Sidebottom’s splendid spell was bowled at well below his normal pace and he appeared to have some trouble with his left foot as his big toe was clearly sticking through a hole in the toecap.
It proved no handicap with Sidebottom claiming his best figures so far of the season.
England opener Graham Gooch thrashed a pre-lunch century for Essex on the eve of the announcement of the Test squad to face West Indies.
Gooch raced to 100 off 120 balls with the help of 16 fours and one six but missed out on the fastest century so far that season by six balls.