Crane hits heights to dismiss Sangakkara

James Vince. Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince. Picture: Neil Marshall
Ben Walker. Picture: Neil Marshall (170311-1)

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MASON CRANE admitted he would never forget his first wicket after dismissing Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara on his Hampshire debut.

The 18-year-old leg-spinner was drafted into the team at late notice with skipper James Vince pressing the youngster’s claims for selection.

And Crane –who ended up with two wickets for 35 – then enjoyed a memorable first senior wicket as he dismissed Sangakkara courtesy of a fine Joe Gatting catch in the deep, even though it probably wasn’t the best ball he has ever bowled.

Crane said: ‘It was awesome to make my debut with a massive crowd and the buzz you get off it.

‘I would love to go out there again and do it all over.

‘I was quite nervous but luckily we were batting so I got myself into the game nicely. I looked to enjoy every ball, and I did.

‘I knew I was playing just before we went out for the warm-up. I thought I was 12th man.

‘But I think it is the best way just to get thrown in like that.

‘I was nervous bowling to Kumar Sangakkara as I knew he could hit me anywhere but it doesn’t matter how they come. It is a great first wicket and I’ll never forget it.

‘I thought he (Gatting) was nowhere near it and was hoping it didn’t go for four but then he took a great catch.

‘I doesn’t get any bigger than Sangakkara, especially first up!’

Adam Wheater, who struck a brilliant 78 to lay the foundations for victory from his new batting role at number three, said: ‘I turned up went for a hit before the game thinking I’d only have 15 balls because that’s what I usually get at the end and the coach told me I was at number three.

‘I’m always annoying him to push me to three and it was nice I could take the opportunity.

‘I’ve always wanted to bat at three. Getting in in the powerplay is sometime nice because you can get your run rate up and then you can rest a little bit.

‘It is hard to clear the fence from ball one.

‘I like it there and it is a decision for the coaches to make on whether I stay there.

‘It is probably a nice headache for them having a couple of batters that can do that.

‘But I’m happy it is a contribution towards a win.’

Wheater added: ‘We needed to win that after a tough few weeks.

‘We’ve been on the road a bit and it would have been a very silent changing room if we had lost.’