So close for Jacques with Tykes on top

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Jacques Rudolph came within a run of celebrating his return to the Yorkshire ranks with a century as bottom-placed Hampshire endured another difficult day at the Rose Bowl.

South African Rudolph, who only rejoined the club last week, seemed sure to score the 43rd century of his first-class career until he drove spinner Imran Tahir to short mid-wicket where Dominic Cork clutched a low catch.

Rudolph’s dismissal was a rare moment of success for Hampshire as Yorkshire, after winning the toss, finished on a respectable 318 for three at the end of the first day from 105 overs.

Left-arm pace bowler Chris Wood promised much for Hampshire in his opening spell in which all his first seven overs were maidens.

Wood also took a wicket, that of Rudolph’s opening partner Joe Sayers who edged him to wicketkeeper Michael Bates after managing just eight from 50 balls.

Yorkshire went into the match without Tim Bresnan, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow - all on international duty - but they were not missed as the Tykes quickly got on top.

Rudolph and his captain, Andrew Gale took the match away from Hampshire with a stand of 129 for the second wicket in 32 overs.

Rudolph reached his 50 with a six over mid-wicket against Danny Briggs before Hampshire made their second breakthrough at 149.

Gale who had struck 10 fours in his 54, lifted Tahir to mid-wicket where James Vince held the catch above his head.

There was no respite for Hampshire, still looking for their first win of the season, as Anthony McGrath joined Rudolph in another profitable stand, this time 55 for the third wicket.

Rudolph was the third to go at 249 but McGrath and new batsman Gary Ballance put on an unbroken stand of 114 for the fourth wicket.

McGrath was missed at short leg by Jimmy Adams off Tahir at 20 to finish with 65 off 188 balls.

The aggressive Ballance reached his half century just before stumps and was 50 not out with eight fours.