Ervine is Mr Angry after all the hard work

Sean Ervine swings his bat in disgust after falling just 14 runs short of his first century of the season Picture: Neil Marshall

Sean Ervine swings his bat in disgust after falling just 14 runs short of his first century of the season Picture: Neil Marshall

Chris Stone

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Mild-mannered Sean Ervine revealed his temper snapped after missing out on a first Championship century of the season as he admitted: I threw it away.

The normally laid-back Zimbabwean nearly demolished his stumps with a furious swish of his bat after nicking a wide Darren Stevens delivery behind to Geraint Jones just 14 runs short of his century.

But worse was to come in the sanctity of the home dressing room before his mood eventually lifted.

While his 86 was a gutsy display and put Hampshire in a great position going into day three of their division two clash with Kent, Ervine felt he needed a ton after an indifferent spell with the bat.

He explained: ‘I just knew how important it was for me to get a hundred and I’d worked so hard so I was really disappointed to get out when I did.

‘I was pretty angry but I left it until I was in the changing room!

‘I’m not going to say what I did, though.

‘It’s not often I do that but then Daws (Liam Dawson) came up to me and said: “in six years I have been playing, I have never seen you lose the plot like that”.

‘But I’d had a little bit of a patchy run this season and the opportunity was there in front of me.

‘Then I lost concentration for a second and that was it – finished.

‘You then have to go back to the drawing board in the next game but you never know when those hundreds come along because they are hard to come by.’

Ervine adopted a more circumspect approach in a bid to rediscover his best form, after notching just two fifties prior to the match against Kent.

But he believes that’s down to his lack of time at the crease – even though he put on 189 runs in partnership with Neil McKenzie (146).

‘It took a while. I’ve been struggling a little bit in the past few games with my form so I just tried to face as many balls as I could,’ said Ervine.

‘But it was great to bat with Macca again.

‘It’s unlike me in the way I batted. I found it tough to bat on that wicket, but at the moment I’m struggling to find rhythm in my batting.

‘Everyone else is going nicely, but for me it was a struggle. There were glimpses of it but something is missing.

‘It doesn’t help that I’ve hardly batted in one-day cricket because the guys at the top of the order have been doing their job, so it has made it tough.

‘But I worked really hard to get to where I was but I was so disappointed to throw away a hundred, which was what I wanted to achieve.’

Even if he is unhappy with his batting, Ervine chipped in with a vital wicket with the ball and then took an assured slip catch to play his part in removing both Kent openers.

While it won’t be easy to run through the visitors’ batting line-up, Ervine believes Hampshire can claim a win they desperately need to fire their promotion bid, with Kent four wickets down in their first innings and still 306 runs behind.

He said: ‘We’re definitely hopeful of getting the win.

‘We need results to climb up the ladder.

‘You need 20 wickets in four-day cricket so there are going to be some hard yards put in.

‘The pitch doesn’t look like it’s offering too much, except with the new ball.

‘It will be hard work but if it turns a bit, the spinners will come into play.’

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