Lancashire CCC - Specsavers County Championship
Hampshire trail by just two runs after they bowled Lancashire out for 149 as 15 wickets fell on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship clash at the Ageas Bowl.
James Vince top scored with 40 as batsmen found it difficult on a sandy pitch as the home side reached 147 for five at the close of play.
Ryan McLaren, returning to the county he represented in 2016, chose to bat after winning the toss under blue skies with only the occasional nonthreatening cloud.
The pitch hinted spin would be heavily used across the four days with a sprinkling of sand at either end of the wicket – marked by a noticeably lighter hue.
For the first hour things went swimmingly for the visitors as Alex Davies looked at easy against the new ball, while Haseeb Hameed wanted to put into practice tips learned during a batting session with England batting coach Mark Ramprakash earlier this week.
Watchful Hameed took exactly half an hour to open his tally, with a guided edge through fourth slip, but fell tamely as he dabbed his bat at a wide Fidel Edwards delivery which was caught at second slip.
Davies had appeared fluent against pace but struggled with Dawson’s turn and bounce.
He got away with a thick edge to James Vince at second slip on 31, but five runs later prodded straight to Sean Ervine at first slip.
Dane Vilas feathered an edged behind off the medium pace bowler Ian Holland before Liam Livingstone lbw to Kyle Abbott on the other side of lunch.
West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul attempted to re-build the innings using his vast experience with Jos Buttler.
But the 42-year-old was pushed into a quick single to take on Mason Crane at backward point, with the fielder directly hitting to leave Lancashire 88 for five.
Buttler continued the procession when he was bowled by an Edwards beauty – which clipped the top of off-stump.
Leg-spinner Crane had been forced to watch England man Liam Dawson bowl 14 overs before he had a go at turning it out the sand.
And it only took until the second over to have McLaren chipping back to him, before Gareth Berg made sure every Hampshire bowler came away with a wicket when Stephen Parry edged to first slip.
Crane mopped up the tail with Jordan Clark and Matt Parkinson both nicking off in consecutive balls to leave the 20-year-old with figures of three for 27.
Hampshire began their reply with freedom as Jimmy Adams and Lewis McManus put on 21.
But left hander Adams slashed with minimal foot movement to be caught behind before the wicket-keeper followed with a tentative prod to Livingstone at first slip.
Vince and Ervine entered and appeared to be playing on another wicket as boundaries flowed and a day high 59-run stand was put on, with Vince in particular driving and flicking well with supple wrists
Ervine departed when he flicked behind and Vince skied a pull shot to mid-wicket for 40.
Parkinson found the edge of George Bailey’s bat in his first over before Livingstone caught low at first slip but Holland and Dawson took Hampshire to the close without another loss.
Lancashire opener Hasseb Hameed netted his highest score of the season to battle his way back into England contention after Alex Davies had crashed a stylish 97 in the Specsavers County Championship with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
The opening pair had a Jewell and Hyde of styles with Davies battering his way to 97 from 92 balls, while Hameed ended the day on 77 from a mammoth 219 deliveries.
The contrast in run making helped Lancashire to a lead of 239 at the end of the second day – having been bowled out for 149 on day one.
Davies’ innings oozed quality as he counter-attacked with power and style – wiping away Hampshire’s 75-run lead quickly.
The 22-year-old drove, cut and pulled regularly with almost exemplary timing on each occasion.
He passed 50 for the 15th time in his career, from 47-balls with a meaty pull shot, but for the third time in his career fell in the 90s.
After all his stroke play, Davies was dismissed playing a forward defensive which clipped his bat and ballooned to a short-leg position where James Vince swooped to hold a diving catch.
Vince had been given the wicket-keeping gloves early in the Lancashire innings after Lewis McManus copped an awkward bounce on his finger – latter Isle of Wight raised Calvin Dickinson rushed back from a second XI match to step in.
While Davies had been at constant ease with himself and the pitch, Hameed retreated into his shell – and showcased the defensive like batting which earned him his England debut.
Again he took half an hour to score his first run but in front of England selector James Whittaker he batted with guts and patience.
Hameed, who before this game boasted an average of 104 against Hampshire, collected his half century in over 100 balls more than Davies, at 154 deliveries, but was measured, serene and completely chanceless.
After Davies had departed, Liam Livingstone started slowly before accelerating into his usual quick pace for 40 – before he was lbw to Abbott.
Dane Vilas was bowled by a beautiful full ball from Mason Crane before Shivnarive Chanderpaul was caught at short-leg by Jimmy Adams off Dawson, and Jos Buttler was lbw to Fidel Edwards.
Hameed out-lived them all in his five hour vigil, allowed them to express themselves, in his epic innings as he ground himself into form – and potentially towards a Test recall.
Another day of constant wickets appeared to be on the cards, after 15 fell on the first day, as Kyle Jarvis went through the Hampshire lower order.
The Zimbabwean has Ian Holland lbw, three balls after he had been dropped by Buttler at second slip, and Gareth Berg caught at third slip.
He completed his best figures for Lancashire, and the County Championship by having Abbott and Mason Crane caught behind – ending with analysis of six for 61.
But Jarvis, and Lancashire, were made to endure a frustrating final wicket stand of 45 between Dawson and Edwards.
Dawson, who was the difference between the two first innings scores with his 75, played the strike taker as Edwards carefully did what he was told.
The England spinner was the first batsman to look at ease as he struck the match’s first half century, from 76 balls – but the stand ended when leg-spinner Matt Parkinson bowled him.
Haseeb Hameed was left frustrated at the Ageas Bowl as rain prevented any action in Lancashire’s Specsavers County Championship clash with Hampshire.
Opening batsman Hameed was left 77 not out after a gritty innings on day two – his highest score of the season.
The opener is hoping to bat himself back into England contention, having played three Test against India before breaking his hand this winter.
But he could be left stranded 13 runs short of a much needed century by the weather.
All of day three was washed out with another wet day forecast on Wednesday.
Umpires Stephen Gale and Jeremy Lloyds attempted a number of inspections but eventually gave in to the weather gods at 3:30pm.
No play was possible on the fourth and final day of Lancashire's Specsavers County Championship clash against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.