A patient 110 not out from Hampshire opener Jimmy Adams led a resolute effort by the visitors in the LV= County Championship match at Liverpool today
Lancashire are still in the box seat but left handed Adams, who earlier in this match passed 1,000 runs for the season, helped chip away at the first innings deficit of 238. At the close Hampshire had reached 275-5 from 103 overs of their second innings, and they lead by 37.
Tom Smith finished with 3-56 from 23 overs – the pick of the figures – but left arm spinner Gary Keedy returned a miserly 1-67 from 36 overs.
Stand-in captain Mark Chilton, who praised the aforementioned pair in particular, described this as a “proper day of cricket”. He said: “The batting and bowling was top drawer. It was just a hard ball day of cricket.
“They’ve not got away from us, which is good. But, obviously, we’d have liked a couple more poles. But Jimmy played really, really well, and it was very difficult to get him out.
“They’re probably up there with the strongest batting line ups in the division, so we knew we were going to have to work hard against them. But I think it’s a patience game with both bat and ball.”
Adams shared important partnerships of 45 for the first wicket with Michael Carberry, 73 inside 31 overs for the third wicket with Neil McKenzie and 78 for the fifth with Zimbabwean Sean Ervine.
He will also resume in the morning with wicketkeeper Michael Bates on 27 not out, and they have shared an unbroken 56 for the sixth wicket.
While Lancashire were a bowler light due to Glen Chapple’s calf strain, there was also less juice in the pitch. Chilton confirmed: “It’s got a little bit easier to bat on than the first day.”
Carberry was the first to go when he top edged a pull off Kyle Hogg behind the wicket to Gareth Cross. And Australian Test player Phil Hughes was caught at first slip by Paul Horton off Gary Keedy to leave the score at 67-2 before lunch.
Adams and McKenzie then united until the latter stages of the afternoon, frustrating the hosts under yet more blue Merseyside skies.
McKenzie offered a half chance to a diving Chilton at point off the bowling of Smith on 21, but also battled hard during his 111-ball innings of 31.
The South African Test player, however, was one of two wickets to fall to Smith in the 61st over to reduce the score from 140-2 to 140-4. He nicked the first ball of the over behind to Cross before James Vince saw his middle stump travel for a duck with the last ball of the over.
Left handed Ervine was more attacking than his colleagues – and he hit six boundaries in his 70-ball 48, surviving a huge caught behind appeal just two balls before he fell to Smith, well caught by Horton at first.
Adams hit 12 boundaries, with Chilton adding: “We had to work hard for those five wickets. I just hope we get some reward for the effort we put in. We’re still in a good position due to the first innings lead we had.
“We’re satisfied with how we performed. It would have been nice to get them seven down, but we feel we’ve had a good day. It’s been a great game of cricket so far, it’s been a high standard.”