Hampshire avoid early collapse on Day 1 against ruthless Lancashire

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After Day 1-

Hampshire 246

Lancashire 37-1*

Pakistani International Hasan Ali was rampant against Hampshire on a dry pitch in Southampton, taking five wickets as the hosts salvaged 246 after going 40-5. 

The election from Hampshire to bat first may have turned a few heads, and very quickly morphed into a peculiar looking decision when Joe Weatherley was caught for just a single run off a Tom Bailey ball. 

His opening partner quickly joined him in the pavilion, as the quality of Jimmy Anderson shone through in the dismissal of Ian Holland thanks to the fast hands of Rob Jones. 

James Vince has had a shaky start to his campaign, but seemingly put this behind him with a ton against Kent. However, Vince once again took an early stroll down to the pavilion end after Jimmy Anderson caught him out via LBW with an in-swinger. 

With an early Hampshire collapse brewing, it is no surprise that Lancashire’s Ali got in on the action, tempting in Liam Dawson to get a flick off the edge that was caught by Danny Lamb. 

Things went from bad to worse as Ali found his range again in the same over, with Ben Brown edging in almost identical fashion, this time caught by Jones. 

At 40-5 Hampshire were on the verge of disaster, but as his partners around him were falling, Hampshire No.3 Nick Gubbins was keeping his cool and not taking any unnecessary risks. Finally, with the arrival of Felix Organ, Gubbins was able to settle in and build a partnership. 

Said partnership was laboured if not emphatic, with the Lancashire attack giving nothing away to the two batsmen, but the pair managed to muster a respectable 92 before Jones got his third catch of the day in the dismissal of Organ off an Anderson ball. 

Despite impressive form with ball in hand, Barker was static upon the arrival of an Ali ball and was subsequently caught and dismissed for just 11 runs. 

An unlikely second partnership was built, with Gubbins being complimented by All-Rounder James Fuller. It was indeed Fuller who would go on to push the scoring, batting aggressively at over a rate of a run per ball on a difficult pitch in red-ball cricket. 

Inevitably, such aggression caught up with him and a wild swing and a miss resulted in Fuller’s dismissal for 55 off 54 balls following being bowled by Luke Wells. 

From there, Gubbins could do little more than he already had to salvage the innings, with Kyle Abbott and Mohammad Abbas both bowled for ducks by Ali and Hampshire all out for 246. However, the No.3 was able to get his century just moments before his side were knocked, scoring 101 off 212 balls. 

That being said, the score was a respectable one considering the start to the innings for the hosts, and subsequently kept them in the game for the time being. 

The onus was then on Lancashire to put Hampshire to the sword and capitalise on the catastrophic start to play, and they looked to build upon some aggressive bowling early on as Hampshire tried to even the odds. 

Keith Barker’s wild ball was pounced on for six by Luke Wells and Lancashire raced to 36-0, with many of Hampshire at heart fearing the worst. 

Barker would redeem himself though and got the last laugh against Wells, bowling the latter for 18. Lamb would come in and take no chances as Lancashire ended the day on 37-1. 

All in all, it was a disappointing first innings from Hampshire, though it realistically could, and perhaps should have been a lot worse. Adrian Birrell’s side largely have former Middlesex player Gubbins to thank for that, though the efforts of Organ and Fuller should also be noted. 

Lancashire will head into the second day’s play looking to build a partnership and keep the score ticking over, for as long as they have wickets in hand they will be in control of this match. 

On quite the contrary, Hampshire will be desperate for early wickets and they themselves will be looking to cause a collapse to sway the game in their favour. 

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