Adams builds the recovery in the face of bulldozers

Jimmy Adams' unbeaten 74 got Hampshire out of a hole on day one at Gloucestershire  Picture: Neil Marshall
Jimmy Adams' unbeaten 74 got Hampshire out of a hole on day one at Gloucestershire Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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It’s fitting that most of the County Ground at Bristol is a building site as Hampshire’s batting line-up were effectively bulldozed.

But as in just about every episode of Grand Designs, there is usually some stumbling block that holds up the redevelopment, in this case, it was Jimmy Adams who proved to be the annoying bloke from the council who wouldn’t grant the planning permission.

A multi-million pound development is taking place on Gloucestershire’s home venue.

And rather than the sound of leather on willow, the seemingly-constant beeping of diggers reversing was the backdrop to this division two clash. No doubt, the venue will be impressive when it is finished and is part of the club’s plan to bring it up to full international standard.

But it’s still slightly bizarre when at times it appeared as though huge slabs of concrete were dangling over the outfield from adjacent cranes to then be swung back into position.

In truth, Hampshire could have done with one of those mighty slabs coming in at number five such was the fragility of their batting.

Having won the toss, Adams opted to bat and his decision looked decidedly foolish at lunch when the visitors licked their wounds at 69 for six.

In fairness, it wasn’t the captain’s fault as he proved batting was nowhere near as hard as it had been made to look.

Michael Roberts (nine) made a brief debut as he nicked a Will Gidman delivery behind and Liam Dawson (duck) followed in similar fashion soon after.

George Bailey (13), James Vince (nine) and Sean Ervine all fell to the impressive Craig Miles (three for 44) and Hampshire were in disarray when Adam Wheater (eight) became the sixth casualty before the lunch interval.

But Adams is an unflappable character, plodding his way to a vital half-century and holding the innings together as he has done on numerous other occasions during his career.

While Chris Wood (seven) and David Balcombe (12) then departed, Danny Briggs (25 not out) became the unlikely partner in crime for Adams.

The former Ventnor man looked every inch the batsman as he picked the bad balls to despatch to the boundary and generally stuck to his task.

It meant Hampshire at least got beyond 100 and eventually closed on 165 for eight as Adams and Briggs put on 68 valuable runs before rain ended the day’s play early.

Chances are, it will be surpassed by Gloucestershire when they bat. But if Hampshire can scramble above 200, it will at least have limited the damage.