Hampshire’s Topley faces injury lay-off without bowling a ball

Reece Topley. Picture: Sarah Standing
Reece Topley. Picture: Sarah Standing
Shahid Afridi. Picture: Neil Marshall

Afridi sends Hampshire into T20 Blast last four

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HAMPSHIRE fast bowler Reece Topley could face an injury lay-off without bowling a ball.

The left armer who signed for Hampshire from Essex during the winter, was struck on the hand by Warwickshire’s pacy seamer Boyd Rankin on day one of the County Championship clash at the Ageas Bowl.

England one-day and t20 international Topley, who saw a specialist yesterday morning was hit early on in his innings – during which he scored a career best first-class total of 15.

He was eventually clean bowled by Chris Woakes as the home side ended the first day on 189 for eight – with overseas star Ryan McLaren unbeaten on 84.

Topley could now miss a month of action with a specialist checking whether the injury is just a single or double fracture just below the knuckle.

Both teams were left frustrated by the weather yesterday.

After almost 18 hours of straight rain no play was possible on day two.

It has made for a disappointing opening to the season.

Umpires Steve O’Shaughnessy and Martin Saggers twice inspected the sodden outfield with the hope of some action.

But despite no rain in the afternoon they decided the pitch could not dry quickly enough.

Hampshire’s McLaren will be eager to get back out to the middle as he remains on an unbeaten 84 for a second night, 16 short of a first Championship ton.

Warwickshire captain Ian Bell, 34, was again left to target the final two Hampshire wickets overnight to keep his hopes of a win alive.

– ALEXANDER SMITH