McLaren: Time for Hampshire to show real fight

Ryan McLaren. Picture: Neil Marshall
Ryan McLaren. Picture: Neil Marshall
Suzie Bates

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FIVE wickets from Ryan McLaren proved not enough to rescue Hampshire from more disappointment on day two against Somerset.

The fast bowler was relatively pleased with his own contribution.

But he admitted the team were hoping for better.

He said: ‘It has been another difficult day.

‘From a bowling point of view we couldn’t build pressure, which we have struggled with for a while.

‘I can take five wickets from the day but at Merchant Taylors a few weeks ago I bowled 27 overs where the ball went passed the bat countless times.

‘It wasn’t my best bowling performance by any means but that is the way the game goes.

‘You have to work with the conditions and what they offer you and this time we had to go stump to stump.

‘It doesn’t matter how you look at it, and you try to be positive and optimistic, but the reality shows we have our backs against the wall.

‘But tomorrow is a good opportunity to show our character and fight and build partnerships.

‘If the guys get in tomorrow they have to make it count.’

James Hildreth made his outside chance of an England Test call-up more likely with a stunning 150 as Somerset pushed towards victory at the Ageas Bowl.

Hildreth, a regular England Lions performer, appeared in little trouble as he reach his third three figures of the season to give Somerset a 255-run first innings lead.

Former Hampshire batsman Johann Myburgh also scored a ton with his first innings of the summer to leave the hosts in desperate trouble.

The only wicket to fall in the morning session was Marcus Trescothick who edged a wide Ryan McLaren ball to Sean Ervine at second slip – ending a stand of 84.

It was a rare positive for Hampshire who had been skittled out for 219 on the opening day, and saw their bowlers fail to hit their marks before lunch.

Myburgh and Hildreth added the match’s highest partnership for the third wicket of 167.

Myburgh eventually fell for 110 as he attempted to clear Tino Best at mid-off with a loft off Mason Crane.

Jim Allenby and Peter Trego departed before tea – the former to McLaren, before Crane found the edge of Trego’s bat.

The evening session continued to go Somerset’s way despite Lewis Gregory becoming McLaren’s fourth victim, out lbw to a ball which seamed back.

The South African had his five wicket haul Hampshire’s second of the season, when Hildreth was struck on the pads to one which jagged back.

Jamie Overton then gave Best his first scalp of the match before the visitors declared on 474 for eight.

Jimmy Adams was then out for a duck as Hampshire closed on 18 for one and with it all to do.