Struggling Hants in fight to avoid the follow on

Hampshire's Nic Pothas during Hampshire v Somerset, LV= County Championship Div 1, Day four, The Rose Bowl, nr Southampton, Wed 27th April 2011.

Hampshire's Nic Pothas during Hampshire v Somerset, LV= County Championship Div 1, Day four, The Rose Bowl, nr Southampton, Wed 27th April 2011.

Ian Holland. Picture: Neil Marshall

Point proved as Holland gives Hampshire hope

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Hampshire still face a fight to avoid the follow-on in their County Championship division one clash at fellow relegation strugglers Worcestershire.

Vikram Solanki’s first Championship century for 14 months put Worcestershire in the driving seat at New Road as they declared on 403 for eight.

But Hampshire were in trouble at 232 for seven at the close last night – still 22 runs adrift of the follow-on mark.

Solanki was dismissed for 173 after batting for almost six hours and Alan Richardson unsettled Dominic Cork’s side with three for 52 until they closed 171 runs behind.

Liam Dawson was caught behind from the sixth ball of the innings and Michael Lumb made only six on his first Championship outing of the season.

Lumb was trapped lbw before Jimmy Adams (52) and Neil McKenzie (37) appeared to be dragging their side out of the mire as they put on 74 runs for the third wicket.

James Vince then made 50 before he was bowled by Jack Shantry after putting on 95 in 16 overs with Nic Pothas (60).

But the follow-on target of 254 had still not been cleared when Shakib al Hasan claimed two late wickets in six balls.

Resuming at 250 for four from day one – and with Solanki poised on 99 not out – he completed his hundred from the first ball he faced and went on to dominate proceedings in the third century partnership of the innings.

Cork revived Hampshire with a lively new-ball spell in which he removed al Hasan (54) and Gareth Andrew with slip catches.

And the captain also held an over-the-shoulder chance at long off to dismiss Solanki after he had hit 25 fours and a six.

That gave Dimi Mascarenhas a tidy return of three for 76 in 28 overs.

But Cork, James Tomlinson, Imran Tahir and Kabir Ali will have work to do to get Hampshire beyond the follow-on mark when play resumes at New Road today.

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