Glimmer of hope in Yorkshire gloom

Dimi Mascarenhas, right, is closing in on a first-team return
Dimi Mascarenhas, right, is closing in on a first-team return
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Dimi Mascarenhas is set for a shock return to the Hampshire side for tomorrow’s CB40 clash at Durham.

The former skipper has been out of the side for nearly a year with an Achilles problem but is closing in on a first-team comeback.

While manager Giles White initially set him a target of this year’s t20 competition, the all-rounder has been added to the Royals squad for tomorrow’s clash at Chester-le-Street.

White will wait until the morning of the game before deciding whether the time is right for his talismanic player to make his long-awaited return.

White explained: ‘Dimi has been doing well in the second team and he will be in the squad for tomorrow.

‘He may play a part but I haven’t decided yet.

‘He is perhaps slightly ahead of schedule but we are not going to rush into things with him.

‘He has been batting and bowling well but his slight issue is getting through the longer form of the game.

‘He has trained for t20 so CB40 might be slightly too long for him but we’ll see.

‘It will be great to have him back in and around the squad, though.’

There is more good news on the selection front, with Imran Tahir set to arrive next weekend, although White remains cautious on when he will be available to play.

White said: ‘We will have a good look at him when he gets here.

‘I wouldn’t like to set a date for him to be playing again just yet.’

Meanwhile, Hampshire’s County Championship clash with Yorkshire looks to be heading for yet another draw after a rain-affected third day at Headingley.

Just 39 overs were possible in Leeds yesterday as Hampshire were bowled out for 232 – 123 runs behind Yorkshire’s first-innings total.

Dominic Cork and his men were starting to make inroads into the home batting line-up when several rain interruptions saw the Headingley ground staff perfecting their routines with the covers.

Cork had struck twice while David Griffiths notched the other wicket to fall, when play was called off for the day with Yorkshire at 62 for three.

With just one day remaining, it seems unlikely a result will be forced by either side.

But White insists he was not breathing a sigh of relief when the rains came with Yorkshire in the driving seat.

He said: ‘We haven’t had too many days like that so far this season but it is always slightly frustrating.

‘The weather can help you on occasions and maybe it did in this game but we want to get out there and play our way back into games rather than rely on the weather.

‘And I think we were doing that. We will have to see what the weather is doing today to see if we can get a result.’