Bailey leads Hampshire fightback

Kyle Abbott played a strong innings alongside George Bailey. Picture: Neil Marshall
Kyle Abbott played a strong innings alongside George Bailey. Picture: Neil Marshall
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GEORGE BAILEY’s five-hour century and some determined resistance from Hampshire’s lower order left the visitors slightly better placed at the close of day one.

On a good batting pitch at Old Trafford the visitors were in a bit of trouble at times during the County Championship clash.

However, Bailey made 127 and hit 17 of the 187 balls he received to the boundary.

He said: ‘It’s a pretty dry wicket now so hopefully a few cracks and footmarks will appear for the spinners later in the game.

‘It’s a good wicket, we had to fight back and it was pleasing that we did.

‘We haven’t quite nailed our work at the top of the order but we knew there was hard work to do in the first couple of sessions and hopefully you cash in later.’

Encouragingly from a Hampshire perspective Kyle Abbott is 76 not out.

However, the visitors’ prosperity on the first evening of this division one game is in sharp contrast to their position in the first session when Steven Croft’s six-man attack had taken three wickets in the first 65 minutes

That the visitors reached 84 for three at lunch was testament to Bailey and James Vince who ensured Lancashire made no further breakthroughs in the second hour of the session after Michael Carberry’s flat-footed slash had only given a catch to Alex Davies off Ryan McLaren.

The Hampshire opener departed for 14 but his was the third wicket to fall in 23 balls after Kyle Jarvis had marked his return after injury by removing both Jimmy Adams and Rille Rossouw.

Adams was caught at cover by Rob Jones for 16 when looking to play to leg and the out-of-form Rossouw played too early at Jarvis’ slower ball and gave a return catch to the bowler, thus leaving the visitors on 38 for three.

Lancashire’s bowlers claimed three more wickets in the afternoon session but were prevented from making further breakthroughs by Bailey, who was 94 not out at tea. But the relative respectability of Hampshire’s total was explained not only by Bailey’s skill but also by the obduracy of his partners.

The Hampshire skipper shared a stand of 69 for the fourth wicket with James Vince, who was leg before to Luke Procter for 22, and another of 52 for the sixth wicket with Lewis McManus.

In addition to Vince’s wicket, Procter also dismissed Sean Ervine but the other wicket in the afternoon session fell to Jordan Clark, who had McManus pouched at second slip by Jimmy Anderson for 15.

In the evening session Bailey took his seventh-wicket stand with Gareth Berg to 55 before the ex-Middlesex all-rounder was leg before to Stephen Parry for 27.

Abbott then added 83 in 78 minutes before Bailey gave Jimmy Anderson his first wicket of the day when his attempted cut only bottom-edged the ball into his stumps and Hampshire ended the day on 351 for eight.