Oliver Newby claimed three wickets in three consecutive overs to spark a spirited Lancashire fight-back against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl today
The 24 year-old pace bowler returned season’s best figures of 4-105 from 30 overs in the Championship to help bowl the hosts out for 337, something that can be seen as a positive result as they began the day at 144-2 on a good pitch.
He then watched Tom Smith continue his recent form at the top of the order to reach 106-1 at close, giving the visitors plenty of heart going into tomorrow’s third day.
“I think if we can bat past them - hopefully Gary Keedy and Stephen Parry can then find some turn - we have a good chance of getting maximum points,” said Newby.
The only dark spot on the day’s proceedings was a last wicket partnership of 50 between centurion Sean Ervine and James Tomlinson. They took the hosts from 287-9 to 337. Ervine walloped his Hampshire best in this format, a brutal 114 off 144 balls, to follow Jimmy Adams, who earlier recorded 107.
The Red Rose will have been pretty chuffed to restrict the hosts to 337 seen as they began the day well placed, but they will also be frustrated at letting Ervine and Tomlinson off the hook.
Newby explained: “We had a talk, and we knew that if we could get them out for 350 less we would be in the game. We managed to do that. They were 140-2, so we were really happy.”
Newby picked up the wickets of James Vince, Liam Dawson and Adams in each of his first three overs to reduce the score from 182-2 to 194-5 in the 64th over. Adams reached his second hundred of the season in the eleventh over of the morning off 172 balls with 15 fours and one six, but Vince was the first wicket to fall, caught behind by Luke Sutton for 23 in the 60th, before Dawson fell the same way in the 62nd. And then Adams became Newby’s third victim when he was trapped lbw, playing back, for 107.
Hampshire lost four wickets for 24 runs in the afternoon session to fall from 263-5 to 287-9 in the 95th over, Kyle Hogg, Newby, Keedy and Smith all grasping a wicket apiece. David Griffiths and Imran Tahir were bowled by Keedy and Smith for ducks in 94th and 95th overs.
Hogg finished with the pick of the bowling figures, recording 4-74 from 29.2 overs to confirm his best haul of wickets ever in a Championship season. He ended Hampshire’s first innings when he had Ervine caught at long-on by Smith.
“We nearly wrapped it up quickly, but Ervine batted well,” continued Newby. “We knew it was a good pitch to bat on, and we fought hard. It is one of those pitches that you have to plug away on, sit in, and somewhere along the line something will happen.”
Smith was soon out in the middle again - but could have been on his way had he not survived a run out chance whilst on four. But Horton was the first to go, for 34 in the 22nd over, when he pulled Griffiths down Tahir’s throat at square-leg.
In the end Smith, like Newby, recorded his own season’s best, an unbeaten 44 off 88 balls with five fours. Mal Loye also made it to close unbeaten on 19, and Lancashire will begin the third day 231 runs behind.
Report by Graham Hardcastle from the RoseBowl
Photo: Simon Pendrigh