Pothas demands a rapid response

Imran Tahir struggles to fend off a bouncer during the crunch County Championship clash against Worcestershire
Imran Tahir struggles to fend off a bouncer during the crunch County Championship clash against Worcestershire
Sean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin Shipp

Bowlers put Hampshire in control of Essex clash

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Nic Pothas surveyed another dismal day of Championship cricket for Hampshire and admitted: We’re in a mess.

The wicketkeeper, who was restored to the side after a recent appendix operation, was honest enough to admit that there were no demons in the pitch for the batsmen to blame as the home side were bowled out for just 179 in their clash with Worcestershire, with the visitors reaching the close of play at 112 for one.

But the long-serving glovesman has urged his team-mates to hit back from a bleak position to perform another rescue mission – just as they did at Warwickshire last week – even though there is the prospect of weather returning to halt their progress today and tomorrow.

Pothas said: ‘I don’t think it was hard work. While I was out there, it didn’t feel like it was hard work to bat on that pitch.

‘There were a few iffy shots and maybe a bit of bad luck, but they bowled pretty well.

‘I’ve certainly batted on a lot worse when we’ve won the toss and batted.

‘It’s put us on the back foot to get 179 but that was nothing to do with the toss – it’s because we haven’t batted that well.

‘Being six down at lunch, we were always going to be on the back foot.

‘But we saw the lower order play beautifully.

‘There were no demons in the pitch by any stretch of the imagination.

‘We’ve got ourselves into that mess and it’s up to us to get ourselves out of it.’

While Worcestershire will probably take a draw to maintain their advantage over Hampshire in the quest to stay up, the Rose Bowl outfit know they need to win games and Pothas understands the visitors’ must-not-lose mentality.

He said: ‘If the roles were reversed, we would do exactly the same thing.

‘They don’t want to give us a sniff of a result.

‘Teams that are close to you are never going to give you that battle if they get on top of you.

‘So it’s going to be tough.’

And while Hampshire’s bid to escape division one relegation looks an increasingly tough ask, Pothas also admitted that he faces another major battle for personal selection.

This time with young deputy Michael Bates – for a place in the Friends Life t20 finals day line-up this Saturday at Edgbaston.

Pothas said: ‘The bottom line is that the club is always bigger than any individual.

‘We need to put out the best team that we think can win a trophy.

‘It’s been a tough year and tough times all the way.

‘This is our one shining light.

‘The best team has to get on the field in the opinion of the people picking it.

‘It may not be my opinion but the bottom line is that the club is bigger than any individual.’