Centuries from debutant Ajinkya Rahane and Sam Northeast see Hampshire close in on victory over Nottinghamshire

Sam Northeast. Picture: Harry Trump/Getty Images
Sam Northeast. Picture: Harry Trump/Getty Images
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Ajinkya Rahane marked his Hampshire debut with a century as Hampshire dominated Nottinghamshire on day three of the County Championship division one clash on the Isle of Wight.

Sam Northeast also hit three figures as the home side finished with a commanding 396-run lead heading into tomorrow’s final day.

Hampshire declared on a second-innings total of 367 for seven and restricted the visitors to 42 for two at stumps. 

Elegant batsman Rahane became the first Indian to play for Hampshire and then just the seventh cricketer to collect a ton on his debut for the county having artfully made 119.

At the other end of a record 257-run stand for the third wicket, Northeast continued his eye-catching early-season form with an almost impeccable 133.

In doing so, Northeast became the highest run-maker in either division of the County Championship, as he notched his 511th run in the competition and 629 in all first-class cricket this season.

On another beautifully sunny day at Newclose on a freshly, heavy-rolled wicket, Stuart Broad had Oli Soames caught behind in the second over before Northeast and Rahane took control.

Rahane, having scored 50 in 64 balls, joined a very exclusive club when he flicked expertly off his legs to reach his hundred.

Only Cecil Abercrombie, Dennis Baldry, Richard Hayward, John Crawley, Shane Watson and Andy Bichel had scored centuries on their Hampshire bows.

Northeast has been in exceptional form this season scoring two 50s and now two tons in seven innings in the County Championship, along with another three figures in the match against Oxford MCCU.

When he reached his half-century in the morning session, from 88-balls, he overtook Gary Ballance, who has had two fewer innings, as the leading run scorer in the country.

Northeast was given a life on 81 when he rare misjudgement while cutting flew to Matt Carter at off the bowling of Jake Ball, only for the first slip to put down the catch.

Once the former Kent batsman had composed himself, and oddly changed his box, he briskly set off again towards three figures.

Northeast’s 23rd first-class hundred was brought up in 162 balls and included 11 boundaries.

Rahane had begun to be peppered by short-pitched balls but having successfully negotiated the traps on the legside, he turned a delivery from Carter into the huge stand.

With England searching to fill gaps at the top of the batting order for the Ashes this summer, Northeast’s form could talk his way into the reckoning.

Either side of tea, with a declaration being planned in his head, Northeast began to cut loose, typified with a towering six over mid-wicket.

But that proved his downfall as soon after the interval as he skied Steven Mullaney to Broad at mid-on.

Aneurin Donald was bowled by Mullaney soon after by a delivery which stayed low – the Nottinghamshire captain celebrating his 100th wicket of his career.

Ian Holland and Tom Alsop, who scored a 47-ball score of 51, then blasted an unbroken 88-run stand in less than 10 overs before Hampshire declared on 367 for five.

Nottinghamshire were given 111 overs to see out, 15 of which in the evening session – but lost both openers.

Ben Duckett was lbw to Keith Barker before Ben Slater was caught behind by Alsop off the bowling of Fidel Edwards. 

Report by Alex Smith