Hampshire Suffer First Defeat of the Season

James Vince's side are well beaten at Old Trafford

Day One: 

Lancashire took a firm grip of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Hampshire at Emirates Old Trafford after a commanding display with both ball and bat left them with an ominous first innings lead at the end of day one.

Winning the toss and batting first on a hot and sunny day in Manchester, the visitors struggled to score runs from the get go with James Anderson looking in fine form as he prepared for his England duties with a three wicket haul.

It was Anderson who took the first wicket of Jimmy Adams for just five before Steven Croft produced the moment of the day when he slid to stop a James Vince drive at mid-on and unleashed a low throw which ran out the England hopeful for 0. 

As an audition for gaining his first Test cap, it couldn’t have gone worse for Vince in front of the watching England coach Trevor Bayliss and things were soon going just as badly for his side as Michael Carberry and Liam Dawson fell to successive balls from Neil Wagner, the latter the victim of a vicious in-swinging yorker which left Dawson hobbling as he exited the stage.

When Will Smith was strangled down leg side by Luke Procter for 18, Hampshire were left 57-5 at lunch.

Debutant Gareth Andrew followed soon after edging an excellent short-pitched delivery from Kyle Jarvis with Tino Best becoming Anderson’s third victim when he edged to Liam Livingstone for 11.

At the other end, Adam Wheater battled hard to get Hampshire over 100 but when he played on to his wicket off Procter for 32, the game was up for Hampshire as James Tomlinson lasted just five balls before also chopping on from Procter who finished with 3-14.

While there was plenty of bounce and pace in the pitch, Lancashire were soon making a mockery of their opponent’s low score with a confident start which saw openers Karl Brown and Haseeb Hameed reach 53 together before Brown was out lbw for 40 to Andrew’s first delivery for his new county.

For the rest of the afternoon Lancashire asserted their dominance with Hameed and Procter both playing watchful innings as they dealt comfortably with the ineffectual leg spin of teenager Mason Crane.

At the close of play both players were approaching their half-centuries after an unbeaten stand of 104 for the second wicket took Lancashire to 157-1 and a lead of 48 runs.

Day Two:

A second day of Lancashire dominance has left Hampshire facing an uphill struggle if they are to prevent this Specsavers County Championship Division One match ending in anything but a win for the hosts.

The visitors ended the day on 14-1  still  325 runs behind after the Red Rose amassed a total of 456 all out in reply to Hampshire’s miserable first innings total of 109.

The hosts resumed much where they left off in Sunday’s evening session with Haseeb Hameed and Luke Procter both watchful as they reached their respective half-centuries with no major scares in compiling a decisive second wicket partnership of 173.

It was teenager Hameed who fell first to the leg spin of Mason Crane, edging to slip in the last over before lunch for a painstaking 62 off 225 deliveries.

If the morning session had been all about contrition, the introduction of South African batsman Alviro Petersen after lunch saw the run rate increase dramatically as he dashed his way to 81 off 85 balls before holing out to Michael Carberry off the bowling of Tino Best

A charged-up Best also accounted for Steven Croft four overs later after the Lancashire skipper edged to James Vince at first slip who pulled off a brilliant one handed effort but at the other end it was Oldham-born Luke Procter who received the plaudits after reaching the second first class century of his career.

After tea Lancashire looked to score quickly and Best profited, picking up the cheap wickets of Procter who finished on 137, Liam Livingstone for a duck and Jimmy Anderson bowled first ball before Neil Wagner (37) and Simon Kerrigan (21*) helped bludgeon the Red Rose towards their final total.

The always entertaining Best finished with 5-90 while Crane chipped in with 3-116 but the close of Lancashire’s innings left Hampshire with a nasty looking spell of 14 overs to face and James Anderson with the new ball.

The inevitable happened and it was Jimmy Adams who edged the England Test star to Karl Brown at second slip for 0 to leave Hampshire hoping this Mancunian heat wave gives way to rain fast.

Day Three:

James Vince (39*) and Will Smith (13*) kept Hampshire in contention on a heavily rain-affected day three of their Specsavers County Championship match with Lancashire, at Emirates Old Trafford.

Hampshire ended on 76-2, trailing by 271 runs, after resilient batting from Vince and Smith before lunch proved to be the last action of the day, putting Lancashire celebrations on hold.

James Anderson had dealt the visitors an early setback, dismissing Michael Carberry (16) in the second over of play.

Carberry had successfully kept the Lancashire offense at bay at the end of day two, but he edged Anderson’s (10-2) fifth delivery of the day behind to wicket keeper Alex Davies, in an almost identical manner to his first innings dismissal by Neil Wagner.

Vince then showed impressive batting versatility by scoring 39 off 147 balls during a stubborn morning’s display alongside Will Smith (20), whose defensive batting qualities could be a real asset going into the final day.

Hampshire trailed by 271 runs at lunch, on 76-2, making Anderson wait for his sixth wicket of the match, before rain intervened.

The scores remained unchanged as the players did not return to the field, giving Hampshire hope of securing an heroic draw on day four. 

Day Four:

Five wickets from spinner Simon Kerrigan (5-59) on the final day condemned Hampshire to their first defeat of the season as Lancashire won the Specsavers County Championship match by an innings and 94 runs at Emirates Old Trafford.

James Vince (47), Will Smith (45) and Adam Wheater (47) were dismissed just short of their fifties as Hants looked to bat out the final day to salvage a draw from the match.

However, England Test bowler Jimmy Anderson (3-29) impressed alongside Kerrigan as Lancashire

With play starting on time despite the overnight rain, Vince and Smith faced a tough examination early on from James Anderson and Kyle Jarvis and it was England hopeful Vince who blinked first.

In truth it was a strange dismissal. Vince, having driven the previous ball beautifully back past the bowler for four, looked to play a similar shot from Anderson's next full pitched delivery but seemed to check himself and instead popped the ball up to Wagner at short cover for 47.

Dawson joined Smith at the crease where the new challenge came from a rejuvenated Simon Kerrigan who gave little away before forcing Dawson to edge a regulation catch to Steven Croft at slip for 18 and By the time the players departed for lunch the visitors had been reduced to 151-4.

Adam Wheater (45) continued his impressive start to the season after lunch, but it was an afternoon session which was dominated by Kerrigan, who found found his rhythm to devastating effect, picking up five wickets to move Lancashire to the top of the Division. 

Hants will be hoping for an improved performance when they welcome Nottinghamshire to the Ageas Bowl for their next Specsavers County Championship fixture, starting on Sunday 22 May.