Misery for Cork as old pals Hogg the cheer

Benny Howell celebrates his 50 on County Championship debut. Picture: Neil Marshall
Benny Howell celebrates his 50 on County Championship debut. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Dominic Cork has a major fight on his hands.

The Hampshire captain was unable to prevent Lancashire romping to a 10-wicket victory at the Rose Bowl yesterday.

A brisk 20 from the hosts’ skipper at least forced his old club to bat again in the County Championship clash.

But it was seam bowler Kyle Hogg, a former team-mate of Cork, who stole the show with career-best match figures of 11 for 59.

And the crushing defeat – a third reverse of the current first-class campaign – has left the club staring down the relegation barrel.

Following the conclusion of today’s play between Yorkshire and Somerset, Cork’s side will be – at the very least– 30 points adrift of safety after six matches.

They’ll be in bigger trouble if the White Rose county claim a draw against the Cidermen.

Adding to Hampshire’s woes – and damaging hopes of division one survival – is the fact their hunt for just a fourth victory at the Rose Bowl since 2007 goes on.

After bowling Lancashire out for 328 on day one, all results were possible. But following just 13 balls of play on day two, the hosts were in big trouble.

Hogg had Benny Howell caught for a debut duck and from then on the home side were on the defensive.

Bowled out for 133 in their first dig, Hampshire followed on to reach the close on 163 for five in the second innings.

Six hours had passed and little hope of even salvaging a draw remained.

Cork’s men did little to delay the inevitable yesterday, either.

Hogg had Nic Pothas, usually so reliable in a crisis, caught off the second ball of the day, before bowling Howell for 71 in the fifth over of the morning.

Howell added just three to his overnight score, as his lone vigil – spanning 177 deliveries – was brought to an end.

Hogg bagged two more Hampshire scalps before Gary Keedy completed the job with the wicket of David Griffiths.

Cork had, however, struck 18 off one Saj Mahmood over to force Lancashire to bat again.

But as he grabbed the new ball, former team-mate Paul Horton took just three balls to smash the two boundaries required for victory.

Lancashire continue to set the pace at the top and how Cork must envy them as he rolls up his sleeves for a survival scrap.