Hampshire facing battle to save game

Danny Briggs struck late on. Picture: Neil Marshall
Danny Briggs struck late on. Picture: Neil Marshall
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

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Hampshire will face a major battle to save the game and avoid a second straight home defeat after they were outplayed by Nottinghamshire on day three of their Championship encounter.

Another lacklustre batting effort saw the home side bowled out for 276 in reply to the visitors’ 371.

And that 95-run first-innings deficit had grown to 391 by the end of the day’s play meaning Jimmy Adams’ side will most likely be tasked with batting out the whole day in a bid to save the game.

Hampshire failed to mount a recovery as they resumed their first innings on 167 for four and saw wickets fall at regular intervals after the early loss of Adam Wheater (15), who added just nine runs to his overnight total.

Wheater had scored all of the early runs as the total moved on to 176 but was then trapped in front by Will Gidman.

England under-19 talent Luke Wood then collected his best bowling figures of three for 68 as he removed Will Smith (35) with a ball that nipped back.

And Hampshire were in trouble when Gareth Berg (one) followed soon afterwards to leave the home side tottering at 197 for seven.

But Sean Ervine (31) made the most of an extra life when he was bowled off a no ball, sharing a useful partnership with Danny Briggs (18) before the spinner drove to Steven Mullaney at mid-off.

Andre Adams made an attacking 31 with one six and three fours in a 47-run stand for the ninth wicket before Ervine edged behind with the score on 276 and the New Zealander followed him the next over.

With a healthy lead, Nottinghamshire set about extending it with purpose before Berg dismissed Mullaney (23), with the bowler rolling his ankle in the process of a successful appeal for the lbw decision.

Considering Hampshire’s bowling concerns, it was a relief for most that the former Middlesex man soon returned to the field after some speedy treatment.

But Nottinghamshire took command of the game when Brendan Taylor (103) and Alex Hales (94) rattled the score along with 163 runs in 30 overs before Liam Dawson broke the partnership to dismiss Taylor lbw.

Dawson grabbed a caught and bowled late in the day to leave Hales frustrated as he fell just six runs short of back-to-back centuries.

Briggs then picked up the wicket of Samit Patel (eight) with Berg taking an easy catch.

The visitors already have enough runs in the bank as they closed on 296 for four and may opt for an overnight declaration as they attempt to seal the win on the final day.

Hampshire will need to show some serious determination and application to avoid their second loss in three outings and it will surely require at least one of their recognised batsmen to make a century to boost their hopes.

But the honest appraisal is that Nottinghamshire have been the better side over the course of the three days and they probably deserve to finish the job and claim victory on the balance of the game so far.