India Test batsman Ajinkya Rahane celebrates debut Hampshire century against Nottinghamshire
Ajinkya Rahane toasted his debut century to put Hampshire in full command heading into the final day of their County Championship division clash against Nottinghamshire.
The home side finished day three with a 396-run lead and need eight wickets to wrap up the Isle of Wight clash.
Rahane became only the seventh player in Ageas Bowl history – and first Indian – to reach three figures on his bow with a classy 119.
The overseas batsman shared a 257-run stand third-wicket partnership with stand-in skipper Sam Northeast (133) as Hampshire declared on a second-innings total of 367 for five.
Tom Alsop also contributed a valuable 51 not out from just 47 balls.
In reply, Nottinghamshire lost openers Ben Slater (12) and Ben Duckett (nought) and posted an overnight score of 42 for two.
Fidel Edwards (one for 12) and Keith Barker (one for 13) took the wickets for Hampshire and they’ll fancy their chances of skittling out the hosts when play resumes.
After scoring 10 in the first innings, Rahane was determined to improve that total significantly.
And he was delighted how he adapted to the English conditions.
Rahane said: ‘I was pretty disappointed in the first innings the way I got out so I wanted to make it count today.
‘We needed that partnership between me and Sam because we were in a tricky situation in the morning and the intent we showed in the middle was very special.
‘I really enjoyed the partnership with Sam, our communication was fantastic.
‘I was happy with my discipline. I had the mindset to play close to the body which I knew wasn’t going to be easy in England.
‘In India we can drive the ball but here you have to respect the conditions.
‘They have a very good bowling attack but knew that once I got going I had to make it count.
‘We are in a good position. We need to start well in the morning and go hard at them in every session.’
Nottinghamshire coach Andy Pick felt things could have been different had his side grabbed a few early wickets.
Now he knows the visitors have a tough day of batting ahead.
Pick said: ‘The bowlers have put a good shift in this game and it is nice to see them come out without any injuries.
‘They gave it what they could and now we have a long day of batting ahead of us.
‘If we could have got two or three wickets in the first hour then we hoped we could hold them and put some pressure on them.
‘You had two guys who can both play and if you put them in the right conditions and the outfield is quicker and the pitch is flatter and this is where these guys earn their corn.
‘We stuck to our task and find ourselves behind the eight-ball.
‘All we can do is dig deep. We can take some heart from the way the pitch played and hopefully we’ll get through a tough half an hour in the morning.
‘The task is clear – we have to bat all day.’