Debutant Colin de Grandhomme’s career best century puts Hampshire in control of County Championship clash against Surrey

Colin de Grandhomme smacked a career best 174 not out on his first class debut for Hampshire against Surrey. Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images.Colin de Grandhomme smacked a career best 174 not out on his first class debut for Hampshire against Surrey. Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images.
Colin de Grandhomme smacked a career best 174 not out on his first class debut for Hampshire against Surrey. Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images.
A magnificent career best 174 not out from Colin de Grandhomme put Hampshire in full control of the LV= Insurance County Championship Group Two clash against Surrey at the Ageas Bowl.

The New Zealand Test all-rounder became only the eighth Hampshire player to score a debut first-class century as Surrey's under-manned attack, still missing injured Kiwi quick Kyle Jamieson, were put to the sword by an inspired lower order who added 259 for the last three wickets.

Having started the day on 229-7, Hampshire totalled 488, writes IAIN McCULLOUGH.

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Surrey were deep in trouble on 42-4 at the close following a fine spell of bowling from Keith Barker who posted figures of 3-15 from 10 overs.

Former Hampshire batsman Hashim Amla - a double centurion when the sides last met in May at the Kia Oval - was unbeaten on 24 and Will Jacks was one not out before rain and bad light stopped play with Surrey needing another 296 runs just to avoid the follow-on.

De Grandhomme, who came to the crease on day one when his side were struggling at 135-4, was in imperious touch with the bat, hitting 17 fours and three sixes on his way to his biggest first-class score in a memorable first red-ball appearance.

The 34-year-old was well supported by Felix Organ, whose enterprising 67 - including four fours and two sixes - was his third highest score in 16 first class games for the county.

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Organ, who has been playing occasionally for Winchester-based St Cross in the Southern Premier League in recent weeks, helped de Grandhomme add 127 for the eighth wicket.

That was a new Hampshire record in Championship games against Surrey - beating the 123 put on by Adrian Aymes and Simon Renshaw at Guildford in 1997.Then No 11 Brad Wheal, who walked to the wicket with a first class average of 8.8 and a highest score of 25 not out, chipped in with 45 in a stunning last-wicket stand of 114 with de Grandhomme.That was another record-breaking partnership - beating the 96 put on by Lewis McManus and Wheal at The Ageas Bowl five years ago.In amongst those stands, de Grandhomme had brought up his 50 off 81 balls and raced to three figures off 136 deliveries with 13 fours and a six.He passed his previous best first class score of 144 before finishing with 17 fours and three sixes in a memorable - and record book rewriting - 213-ball stay at the crease.

Having spent a day-and-a-half in the field, Surrey then got off to the worst possible start when Mark Stoneman departed for a golden duck from the opening ball of Kyle Abbott's first over.

Abbott sent down a peach of a delivery that the former England opener had no option but to play at and Joe Weatherley took a sharp diving catch.

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That early loss was compounded by the exit of Surrey captain Rory Burns just before tea.

Barker found the edge of the England man's bat and Weatherley took another sharp grab at second slip as the visitors fell to 8-2.

Left-arm seamer Barker struck twice more after the restart in a superb maiden over, rattling the stumps of Ryan Patel and Jamie Smith before the players were taken off by umpires Ian Gould and Chris Watts.

When play restarts on Tuesday, Hampshire will be looking to turn the screw as they bid for a victory which would boost their hopes of a top two finish and a place in Division 1 come September’s final round of four games.

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Wheal, after recording his career best score, said: ‘It was good just to be out there. Colin is a world class player and great to bat with and it was good fun.‘He was very positive and looking to score runs all the time and put them under pressure.‘Any runs from the tail are good and, as our coach keeps saying, ‘a happy dog wags its tail’.‘Abbo and Barks bowled so tight and it is so hard to score quickly when those guys are bowling like that.‘The table is looking pretty tight and it would be really good if we can carry on and get a win under our belt going into the game at Gloucestershire next week.’