Nash fighting but Hampshire on top

Ageas Bowl Article.

HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND - Four wickets in the last hour of play helped Hampshire reaffirm their dominance on day two of their LV= County Championship match against Kent at The Ageas Bowl.

Career-best figures of 7-150 from Kent off-spinner Adam Riley had helped dismiss Hampshire for 455 after a partnership of 189 from Neil McKenzie (146) and Sean Ervine (86) had set the foundations for the hosts to surpass 500.

But an opening stand of 106 from Sam Northeast (59) and Rob Key (47) steered Kent’s reply into a healthy position before two wickets from David Griffiths (2-34) and one each from Ervine (1-24) and Danny Briggs (1-19) turned the game back into Hampshire’s favour with Kent 149-4 at stumps. 

15 runs short of his century overnight, you would excuse McKenzie for taking his time to reach his 49th First-Class hundred. But in fact the 37-year old did just the opposite, reaching it in 153 balls (15 fours) inside 20 minutes of the morning session.

It was the partnership of the McKenzie and Ervine who swung the game into Hampshire’s favour on day one, and the pair continued in the same vein on day two with McKenzie moving to his second best ever score for Hampshire. Riley’s fourth wicket of the match to dismiss McKenzie ended the partnership which was worth 189 runs, but the damage had already been done with the home side 391-5 at Lunch.

But just as it looked like the match was moving out of Kent’s reach, the bright spark for the visitors struck again. Off-spinner Riley was yet to take a First-Class wicket for Kent this season before this match, but he had five to his name by the middle of day two after dismissing Adam Wheater (21) early in the afternoon session.

Unfortunately for Ervine, after playing such an assured innings to surpass his highest score this season he fell to Darren Stevens (2-72) soon after Wheater went.  And from what looked to be Hampshire pushing towards 500 quickly turned into a tail end collapse with Riley taking two of the final three wickets to finish with career best figures of 7-150 as the hosts were dismissed for 455.

Relatively out of form, you can imagine Northeast was relieved to see The Ageas Bowl – the location of his last LV=CC hundred as the destination of his next innings. And he begun Kent’s reply fluently alongside Key as the pair put on 106 for the first wicket.

But a flurry of wickets from Hampshire in the last hour of play swung the match back into their favour. After Northeast and Key were dismissed in consecutive overs, Griffiths then comprehensively bowled Daniel Bell-Drummond before nightwatchman Riley fell to Briggs to leave the visitors 149-4 at stumps.

First Published On The Ageas Bowl.

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 13:36