McManus within sight of second first class century as Hampshire fight back on day two at Somerset

Lewis McManus led a determined Hampshire fightback on the second day of the County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 7:02 pm
Brian the Somerset Cat watches play during day two of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Somerset and Hampshire at Taunton. Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images.

The wicketkeeper walked to the crease with his side 110-5 and trailing by 250 on first innings before contributing 91 not out, off 160 balls with 12 fours, and helping them close on 285-7, writes RICHARD LATHAM.

He is within sight of only his second first class century in 53 matches, with his first coming against Surrey almost five year ago.

Sam Northeast made 67 while a disciplined Somerset bowling performance brought three wickets for Josh Davey and two each for Marchant de Lange and Tom Abell.

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Lewis McManus on his way to an unbeaten 91 on day two at Taunton. Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images.

A day of glorious sunshine at the Cooper Associates County Ground began with Hampshire starting their reply to Somerset’s 360.

Openers Ian Holland and debut-making Cameron Steel had taken the score to 15 when Holland was brilliantly caught by Roelof van der Merwe, diving to his right at fourth slip off Davey.

Tom Alsop and Steel carefully doubled the score before de Lange struck twice in the 14th over.

The first ball saw Alsop taken at third slip by the diving Abell, while the final delivery accounted for Steel, caught and bowled failing to cope with some extra bounce.

Keith Barker on his way to 33 at Taunton. Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images.

James Vince and Northeast needed patience in building from 31-3 and were offered little by a miserly home seam attack. Vince briefly cut loose in the 25th over, pulling a four and a six off Abell.

At lunch, the scoreboard read 67-3 off 29 overs and the afternoon session began with Northeast and Vince gradually extending their stand to 66.

Then Vince, on 29, cut a ball from Davey to backward point where Kasey Aldridge, fielding substitute for the injured Lewis Goldsworthy, took a sharp catch above his head.

Liam Dawson edged a low catch to James Hildreth at first slip off Abell and Somerset looked in command.

James Vince of Hampshire makes his way back to the pavilion after being dismissed at Taunton. Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images.

Northeast went to his half-century off 110 balls, with 10 fours. But, with the total on 148, he top-edged an attempted pull off Abell and skied a catch to wicketkeeper Steve Davies.

By tea, Hampshire had struggled to 157-6 and still required 54 runs to avoid the possibility of following-on.

That prospect was dispelled by McManus and Keith Barker with a stand of 87, compiled with the most positive batting of the day.

Left-hander Barker contributed a valuable 33, but it was McManus, punishing anything loose, who produced most attractive innings.

The wicketkeeper went to fifty with a reverse sweep for four off van der Merwe, a boundary which also took Hampshire past the follow-on figure of 211.

Davey struck again on the fifth over with the second new ball when Barker was caught at second slip.

But McManus found the harder cherry to his liking and collected several crisp boundaries as he and Felix Organ (21 not out) saw Hampshire to the close.