Hampshire in command but have mixed feelings

Gareth Berg. Picture: Neil Marshall
Gareth Berg. Picture: Neil Marshall
George Bailey is bowled for a duck against Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire fall to Essex loss

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GILES WHITE felt Hampshire could have made even more of their strong start to the County Championship division one clash against Yorkshire.

Gareth Berg starred with five wickets as the visitors were reduced to 275 for nine at the end of day one.

But White was left with mixed feelings as Hampshire’s dominance meant it could been a more successful day at the Ageas Bowl.

He said: ‘If we had been given this score at the beginning of the day we would have been very pleased, however we felt we could have had a better day.

‘I think Berg bowled particularly well, he was the standout with five wickets.

‘We had to keep plugging away. Sometimes it looked hard to bat, others it looked easy.

‘Conditions overhead this morning and throughout the day helped bowling.’

Berg produced a magical early evening spell to grab his first five-wicket haul of the season and put Hampshire in control.

He fashioned a fantastic five over spell of three for 13 to place the home side in a commanding position to score some much needed points to starve off relegation.

The five wicket haul, five for 54, was only the South African-born bowler’s fourth in first-class cricket, and first since joining Hampshire at the beginning of last season.

Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale had elected to bat after winning the under in bright skies, which quickly turned overcast meaning more bowler friendly conditions.

But the change in weather made Gale’s choice look foolish when Alex Lees flicked Brad Wheal to Will Smith at wide gully in the 10th over.

Smith was perfectly position to produce a stunning low one-handed catch to hold onto Adam Lyth’s powerful cut.

Gary Ballance tickled a Berg away-swinger behind to a diving Lewis McManus.

Jake Lehmann and Gale blocked the hosts’ path to more wickets with a 62-run stand, with the former moving quickly through the gears on a quick outfield.

Lehmann reached 50 for the first time in Yorkshire colours in 61 balls.

Gale edged behind before Australian Lehmann became Berg’s second victim – another wonderful catch this time by Jimmy Adams at second slip.

Tim Bresnan and Andy Hodd put the visitors back on track with a 73-run partnership.

Bresnan reached his slow half century in 104 balls but became the start of Berg’s wicked spell when he chopped onto his leg stump.

Hodd also saw his stumps rearranged before Azeem Rafiq top edged behind to a jumping McManus.

Steven Patterson pushed leg spinner Mason Crane to short leg Tom Alsop, another fine snaffle,.

But Jack Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom frustrated their hosts with an unbeaten 41 stand for the 10th wicket – which was only stopped by bad light.