Debutant leads Hampshire recovery

James Vince is unbeaten. Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince is unbeaten. Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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At nought for two, it’s fair to say Hampshire’s 2013 Championship season had not got off to the best of starts.

Early dismissals of skipper Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry without a single run on the board was not what the doctor ordered.

Having lost the toss, it was no surprise Hampshire were invited to bat on a green deck that offered plenty to the Leicestershire bowlers in the first half an hour or so.

But after seeing his more established colleagues struggle, overseas debutant George Bailey (93) gave an insight into what he can provide this season.

The Australian dug in when he had to and then launched the counter-attack in impressive style in a partnership with Liam Dawson (46) worth 141 precious runs.

Hampshire’s batting line-up has looked brittle in previous seasons and once a collapse threatened to take hold, there weren’t too many around to stop it.

So maybe Bailey is just what has been missing.

He struck 14 fours and punished anything remotely short as the Leicestershire bowlers suddenly lost their way.

The Aussie was out in bizarre fashion, though.

Seven runs short of a deserved debut century, he seemingly wandered out of his ground as Niall O’Brien threw down his stumps.

James Vince (77 not out) and Sean Ervine (57 not out) then put on an unbroken partnership of 136 to put Hampshire in a decent position at 286 for four when the rain came.

Considering how the innings had started, Hampshire would definitely have taken that.