Switched off by the floodlit experiment in Southampton
IT could have got sticky for Yorkshire, but it ended up being a stroll towards safety.
At 112-4 on the final day, a second innings lead of just 19 runs, there was a chance that they could have been bowled out cheaply and that Hampshire would chase a reachable target.
Gary Ballance had just been caught behind for 21, pushing forward at off-spinner Ollie Rayner to break a run of three successive Championship hundreds at the ground.
In the next over, Cheteshwar Pujara had been bowled for 32 by medium-pacer Ian Holland, the ball somehow squirting between bat and pad, Yorkshire losing two key wickets after starting the day on 91-2.
But a second half-century of the match from Harry Brook, who followed his first innings 79 with 68, plus 54 not out from Jack Leaning in just under four hours, steadied the ship for the visiting side.
Their fifth-wicket stand of 108 in 38 overs represented the bulk of the salvage work, which was completed by Leaning in company with Championship debutant Jonny Tattersall (22) and Tim Bresnan (four not out) to raise a final score of 263-6.
Thus a combination of tenacious batting, a typically turgid Southampton pitch, and a pink ball that offered neither much help to the bowlers nor value for shots, saw the game peter out in predictable style.
It was, in the final analysis, a poor advert for the competition, with the pitch, the ball, and a paltry crowd on each of the four days rendering this latest floodlit experiment a waste of time.
If you wanted two batsmen to help you fight to achieve a draw, to scrap and to stifle the opposition bowlers, the names of Ballance and Pujara would be right up there near the top of the list, and the third- wicket pair experienced few alarms in the early stages of a mainly warm and sunny fourth day.
There was an initial probing burst from Dale Steyn, who opened with five overs for six runs from the Pavilion end, but Ballance and Pujara negotiated the first 14 overs of proceedings with barely the suggestion of discomfort, defending stoutly and playing selectively.
As such, it came as a surprise when both suddenly fell in the space of six balls, ending their stand of 50 spread across 28 overs.
With Yorkshire’s batting hardly having been their forte of late, Hampshire had a chance at that stage to cause a collapse, but they were repelled by the broad bats of Brook and Leaning, which skilfully took the sting out of the situation.
Rather than let Hampshire just bowl to him and dictate terms, Brook took a positive approach, dancing down the wicket early on to whip the spin of Rayner to the mid-wicket boundary.
When Steyn returned for a less effective second spell, Brook cut successive deliveries from the South African fast bowler to the boundary with an almost dismissive air, and a square- driven four off Gareth Berg was similarly impressive.
At the other end, Leaning was content to let his young partner do his thing while comfortably negating the wiles of Rayner.
As his innings progressed, Leaning also danced down the pitch to loft Rayner to the mid-wicket boundary before caressing Berg for a silky four through backward- point.
Brook, who took four offside boundaries in an over off Holland, seemed odds-on for the second Championship hundred of his career only to fall in probably the worst way possible.
When Leaning hit a straight drive back at Berg, the bowler threw out a right hand and deflected the ball on to the stumps with the teenager stranded, with Leaning looking every inch as disappointed for his partner as Brook was himself.
Tattersall survived for 70 minutes before being bowled by Rayner, the sides shaking hands at 7.50pm.
JACK LEANING: Skilfully took the sting out of the situation and helped Yorkshire to a comfortable draw at the Rose Bowl.