Hampshire frustrate Somerset on day two
91 not out from Hampshire’s Lewis McManus frustrated Somerset’s hopes of establishing a big first innings lead on the second day of this LV Insurance County Championship match at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
At 110 for five and trailing by 250 the visitors were staring down the barrel, but McManus had other ideas. His impressive innings came off 160 balls, with 12 fours, and by the close of play Hampshire were 285 for seven.
Sam Northeast made 67, while a disciplined Somerset bowling performance brought three wickets for Josh Davey and two each for Marchant de Lange and Tom Abell.
A day of glorious sunshine at the Cooper Associates County Ground began with Hampshire starting their reply to Somerset’s 360.
Openers Ian Holland and Cameron Steel had taken the score to 15 when Holland was brilliantly caught by Roelof van der Merwe, diving to his right at fourth slip off Davey.
Tom Alsop and Steel carefully doubled the score before de Lange struck twice in the 14th over.
The first ball saw Alsop taken at third slip by the diving Abell, while the final delivery accounted for Steel, caught and bowled, failing to cope with some extra bounce.
James Vince and Northeast needed patience in building from 31 for three and were offered little by a miserly home seam attack. Vince briefly cut loose in the 25th over, pulling a four and a six off Abell.
At lunch, the scoreboard read 67 for three off 29 overs. The afternoon session began with Northeast and Vince gradually extending their stand to 66.
Then Vince, on 29, cut a ball from Davey to backward point where Kasey Aldridge, fielding substitute for the injured Lewis Goldsworthy, took a sharp catch above his head.
Liam Dawson edged a low catch to James Hildreth at first slip off Abell and Somerset looked in command.
Northeast went to his half-century off 110 balls, with 10 fours. However, with the total on 148, he top-edged an attempted pull off Abell and skied a catch to wicketkeeper Steve Davies.
By tea, Hampshire had struggled to 157 for six and still required 54 runs to avoid the possibility of following-on.
That prospect was dispelled by McManus and Keith Barker with a stand of 87.
Left-hander Barker contributed a valuable 33, but McManus went to fifty with a reverse sweep for four off van der Merwe, a boundary which also took Hampshire past the follow-on figure of 211.
Davey struck again on the fifth over with the second new ball when Barker was caught at second slip by Lewis Gregory.
At the close of play, Marchant de Lange said: “I think it was a good effort from all the bowlers today but overall I’d say it’s pretty even. I think we bowled well as a unit and we stuck to what we wanted to do.
“I’m getting more confident with every game. It’s human nature to want to improve and I just want to contribute for the team.
“Hopefully tomorrow morning we can pick up those last three poles early and get a good lead. The game’s never over until the last ball is bowled, so we will see what happens.”
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