Rains halts Hampshire bid

Sean Ervine took two wickets on day two for Hampshire
Sean Ervine took two wickets on day two for Hampshire
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

Root: Hampshire talent will embrace Ashes debut

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A COMBINATION of Derbyshire resilience and rain hampered Hampshire’s hopes of building on a positive start to their County Championship division two finale.

After edging day one, Giles White’s side – who have nothing but pride to play for at the County Ground – were keen to dent their hosts’ promotion hopes as action resumed yesterday.

But with rain greeting the players on their return to the field after lunch – and with no improvement in conditions in sight – play was called to a halt shortly after 4pm.

Hampshire remain 105 runs in front, though, following a morning session which saw Derbyshire move to 167 for five after starting the day on 50 for three.

Usman Khawaja’s unbeaten 71 and nightwatchman Tony Palladino’s 58 helped the home side score 117 – but two wickets from Sean Ervine kept the visitors in the contest.

Palladino displayed his batting credentials by dominating the fourth-wicket stand with Khawaja.

He hit seamer James Tomlinson for six in three balls, before reaching his half century by driving Chris Wood down the ground for his seventh four.

It was the seamer’s third Championship fifty and Khawaja reached the same milestone off 100 balls, before the stand was broken in the same over.

Ervine bowled a good spell from the City End and ended Palladino’s admirable innings when a chipped drive lobbed to mid-on, where Tomlinson plunged forward to take the catch.

Ervine then struck again when he removed Dan Redfern, who never looked comfortable.

The left-hander edged low to second slip and Liam Dawson held a fine catch to leave Derbyshire with some repair work to do on 147 for five.

Khawaja and Ross Whiteley scored another 20 runs from five overs but that was the last action of the day as the rain set in.