Hampshire deliver a strong showing on day one

Michael Carberry. Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Carberry. Picture: Neil Marshall
Tom Alsop. Picture: Neil Marshall

Alsop: Best is yet to come from Hampshire

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Dale Benkenstein was delighted with the way Hampshire’s batsmen performed to put the team on top against Middlesex.

In difficult conditions, Middlesex were made to pay the price for putting the home side in.

Jimmy Adams, Michael Carberry and Will Smith all got past 50 as Hampshire posted 295 for five from 96 overs.

Coach Benkenstein also praised Liam Dawson for his contribution of 36 in a valuable opening partnership of 85 with Jimmy Adams.

That came at a time when Hampshire could have come under the cosh had they lost a couple of early wickets.

Benkenstein said: ‘When you are put in it is always to good to come in after scoring 300, you know had a good day.

‘It was very tricky conditions. Daws only got 30 odd but there are good 30s and bad 30s and that was a good one – I though he batted unbelievably well.

‘The platform him and Jimmy set helps the rest of the order.

‘Every run in this first innings is like gold in these conditions.’

Adams and Carberry continued their form.

Skipper Adams scored his second 50 in three days with a patient 61 while Carberry kept the pressure on the Middlesex attack with a handsome 67.

Smith is also enjoying his craft as he scored his second Championship half-century in a row – to reach 52 with a boundary with the final ball of the day.

The away side failed to take advantage of excellent fast bowling conditions after winning the toss – although there was an argument that the ball was swinging around too much.

Middlesex almost made the perfect start in the third over but Toby Roland-Jones failed to hit the stumps with a relatively simple run-out chance – as Adams was yards short of making his ground.

Under overcast skies their were constant oohs and aahs from behind the wicket but Adams and opening partner Liam Dawson navigated the bowler friendly environment with relative easy.

Dawson dodged a close leg before call as Steven Finn wrapped him on the pads with a low bounding delivery.

The pair made a timely half century stand – brought up with a marvellous Dawson straight drive boundary – which came in the 14th over and marked a successful opening hour in testing conditions.

After putting on 85 for the first stand, Dawson – who passed 4500 career first class runs when he past 30 – pushed behind after doing the hard work to see off the new ball, for 36.

Opener Adams missed last week’s defeat at Yorkshire for the birth of his second son, Joshua, but reached 50 with a quickly run two – brought up after 122 deliveries.

Adams and former opening partner Carberry added 75, befor the former fell for a 150-ball 61.

Last season’s division two top scorer James Vince fell for 27 but Carberry reached 50 in 99 deliveries.

He then frustratingly edged behind to give Harris his second wicket of a mixed day, before Adam Wheater came and went.

Smith remains, however, on 52 not out and will be looking to pile on more runs on day two.

Rain looks to be the major threat to Hampshire’s chances of recording a first win of the season in division one.

That would be tough to take after putting down a solid platform in the match.