Northants enjoy the upper hand on first day of pre-season friendly at Hampshire

Hampshire endured struggles with bat and ball as they lifted the curtain on their pre-season campaign at The Ageas Bowl.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 7:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 7:09 pm
Ryan Stevenson of Hampshire in action during the first day of the friendy against Northamptonshire at The Ageas Bowl . Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

On the first day of their two-day friendly with Northants both counties faced 25 overs after the start was delayed by more than two hours due to rain.

Hampshire skipper James Vince declared his side’s innings on 81-5 before the visitors closed on 102-2.

With both Northants openers retiring, none of Hampshire’s six seam bowlers used managed to pick up a wicket.

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The woolly hat brigade - Ricardo Vasconcelos, Alex Wakeley, Tom Taylor, Emilio Gay and wicketkeeper Adam Rossington crouch during the opening day of Northants' friendly against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

When play eventually started, Hampshire suffered a poor start.

Ian Holland was trapped leg before by Tom Taylor off only the second ball he received, while fellow opener Joe Weatherley had his stumps rearranged by the same player after making just two.

That left Hampshire 3-2 after 3.3 overs.

Tom Alsop (31) and Sam Northeast (23) took the score to 42 before ex-Hampshire all-rounder Gareth Berg bowled the latter in his first over.

Cricket in March in England - The Ageas Bowl lights are on in the evening session as Northants bat against Hampshire. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

It was 52-4 when Berg struck again in his second over, clean bowling Liam Dawson (7) in the England international’s first innings since an Achilles injury last August.

Vince had moved to 18 not out before he declared once Alsop was deemed leg before to Ben Sanderson.

Kyle Abbott took the new ball when Hampshire bowled, alongside Brad Wheal, in his first appearance at The Rose Bowl since taking a record 17-86 in a Championship encounter against Somerset in September 2019.

But Curran (45 not out) and Ricardo Vasconcelos (30 not out) endured few problems before retiring to let team-mates have a bat

Abbott returned 5-2-11-0 while Ryan Stevenson (5-1-37-0) was the most expensive bowler.

Hampshire have one other friendly after this one, another two-dayer against Sussex at The Ageas Bowl starting next Thursday, prior to the opening Championship match at Leicestershire on April 8.