Bowlers thrive in Kent friendly

Danny Briggs. Hampshire. Picture: Neil Marshall
Danny Briggs. Hampshire. Picture: Neil Marshall
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New signing Andre Adams picked up his first Hampshire wicket as visitors Kent were reduced to 376-9 on the last day of play at the Ageas Bowl.

In their final friendly before the opening County Championship game against Sussex on Sunday, Hampshire’s bowlers took full advantage of the good weather to get some important overs out in the middle on day two of the encounter.

Danny Briggs and Brad Wheal bowled excellently in batsman-friendly conditions, and were well supported by Gareth Berg, Chris Wood, Sean Ervine and Adams, who all took one wicket apiece.

Kent resumed well-placed at 76-0 on the final day and openers Joe Denly (72) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (88) began the innings strongly.

The duo shared an opening stand of 152 before Denly departed after edging Ervine behind who was well caught by young keeper Lewis McManus.

Briggs and Wheal then struck before lunch to restore balance to the score and something for Hampshire to build on in the afternoon session with the visitors 181-3.

Wickets continued to fall after the interval thanks to some tight and consistent bowling from Berg, Wood and Adams, with the latter claiming his first wicket for the side having signed for the county over winter.

The visitors looked to be in trouble with the score at 240-6, but Sam Northeast (104*) and former Hampshire all-rounder Matt Coles (48) helped steady the innings before Briggs removed Coles and had new batter Mitch Claydon stumped by the impressive McManus.

The highly-rated 20-year-old keeper was given some valuable match experience and impressed with his tidy glove-work throughout the day.

Fellow youngster Wheal then claimed his second scalp of the day as Ervine took his fourth catch to leave Kent 376-9.

Proceedings were then brought to a close at the Ageas Bowl.

With some important practice under their belts, the two days served as vital preparation for the new season.

Hampshire now look forward to welcoming Sussex to the Ageas Bowl in their opening fixture on Sunday.