Bowlers put Hampshire in control of Essex clash

Sean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin ShippSean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin Shipp
Sean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin Shipp
Hampshire produced a brilliant bowling display to put recently-crowned County Championship division one winners Essex in trouble at the Ageas Bowl.

The visitors suffered a late batting collapse on the first day of the clash and finished on 33 for five at stumps.

Hampshire posted a first-innings score of 254 all out with George Bailey (89) and James Vince (60) both notching half-centuries.

Captain Bailey saluted the performance of his bowlers.

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He said: ‘That was probably as well as we’ve bowled all year.

‘The partnerships were absolutely phenomenal.

‘I can’t think of a loose ball.

‘They just had to fight for every run, which we spoke about.

‘The new ball is going to be key for us.

‘There’s been a little bit of nibble and the ball can soften up a little bit so it was important to make inroads.’

Essex put the hosts into bat and Joe Weatherley (eight) and Jimmy Adams (nought) were both dismissed earlier than they hoped.

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But a 71-run partnership shared by Tom Alsop (34) and Vince steadied the ship for Hampshire before the former was bowled by Jamie Porter.

Captain George Bailey arrived at the crease and he carried on where Alsop left off but Vince was caught off Sam Cook.

After his departure, it was only Bailey who mustered a decent score as Hampshire were all out for 254.

But the hosts’ opening bowlers were in rampant form and put their side firmly on top.

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Abbott dismissed opening batsmen Varun Chopra (five) and Nick Browne (nought) while Westley – who was desperately out of form for England this summer – was trapped lbw by Edwards for six.

The hosts’ momentum continued and Gareth Berg joined the party when he knocked over the stumps of Ravi Bopara (seven) before Edwards claimed his second wicket of the game.

The former West Indies international clean bowled night-watchman Sam Cook (nought).

Dan Lawrence (eight not out) and Ryan ten Doeschate (six not out) saw Essex through as the away side finished on 33 for five at stumps.