Half-centuries for four Hampshire batsmen on opening day of pre-season friendly with Sussex
Hampshire’s top order batsman enjoyed some good pre-season time at the crease on the opening day of the county’s final friendly.
Skipper James Vince was one of four players in the top six to score a half-century - three of whom retired to let others have a bat.
In addition, Liam Dawson fell just two short of a fifty as Hampshire piled up 352-8 declared in 90 overs against Sussex at The Ageas Bowl.
Opener Ian Holland (65 retired) and No 3 Tom Alsop (69) added 130 for the second wicket after Joe Weatherley (4) had been dismissed by George Garton.
They were certainly crucial runs for Holland, who is keen to bat at the top of the order but who lasted just four balls in bagging a pair in the opening friendly against Northants last week.
Dawson, playing only his second innings since a severe Achilles injury last August, hit 48 off 91 balls after Vince promoted him to No 4 in the order.
The skipper then came in to smack a breezy 55 off 56 balls - with nine fours and a six - before retiring.
Wicket-keeper Lewis McManus, batting at 6, also reached 55 - off 73 balls - before retiring.
Pace ace Kyle Abbott is certainly no slouch with the bat either and he struck an unbeaten 43 off 28 balls against a Sussex attack featuring 10 different bowlers.
Abbott’s fellow overseas signing Mohammad Abbas was named in a 12-strong team and is expected to make his first appearance for Hampshire when Sussex bat on the second and final day.
Hampshire’s opening County Championship game starts against Leicestershire at Grace Road next Thursday.
Skipper Felix Organ impressed with bat and ball as Hampshire 2nds thrashed Exeter University by 191 runs in a 50-over friendly on The Ageas Bowl’s Nursery Ground.
First, he opened the batting and top scored with 77 as the 2nds rattled up 320-9 against the students.
Toby Albert hit 71 and Charlie Mumford 49.
Organ (2-6) was one of five bowlers to bag two wickets as Exeter were dismissed for 129 in reply.
J Turner (2-10), Ben Huntley (2-20), Kamran Khanna (2-25) and Ryan Stevenson (2-28) also impressed.
Hampshire will face West Indies Test skipper Kraigg Brathwaite later this month.
He will open the batting for Gloucestershire in the county’s first eight matches of this season’s LV= Insurance County Championship.
Brathwaite, who replaced Jason Holder as red-ball skipper of the Windies last month, will head to the UK at the end of his country’s ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka, scheduled to finish on Friday.
While it is possible he could make his Gloucestershire debut in their championship opener against Surrey next week, it is more likely he will make his bow against Somerset in a fixture starting on April 15.
Gloucestershire’s third game is against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl starting on April 22.