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Ervine and Adams set up likely draw

Watch highlights of day three

Sean Ervine notched 93 and captain Jimmy Adams a half-century as Hampshire recovered from a slow start to make a respectable first-innings total on day three of the LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Worcestershire at the Ageas Bowl.

The pair provided the cornerstone of Hampshire's 263, a total that looked unlikely when labouring on 105 for six earlier in the day, before Worcestershire made an impressive start to their reply.

The visitors, for whom Jack Shantry took four wickets, were on 103 for one by the close of play, with captain Daryl Mitchell and England batsman Moeen Ali at the crease on 44 and 27 respectively to establish the draw as the firm favourite in a rain-ruined contest.

Hampshire began this morning on 37 for three – the sum of what little play was possible on day one following a washout yesterday.

Adams resumed on 32 and soon progressed to a well-earned fifty, bringing it up with a four to take his side to 65 for three.

But two wickets from consecutive balls by Shantry pegged Hampshire back, with Adams caught for 67 by Alexei Kervezee and Joe Gatting trudging back without troubling the scorers on his first appearance for the county.

It was another Shantry delivery that ousted Will Smith for 29 – Tom Kohler-Cadmore again providing the safe hands to remove a debutant and leave Hampshire in a spot of bother.

The hosts managed to steady the ship, though, through Adam Wheater and Ervine. They were 136 for six at lunch and the Wheater-Ervine partnership took them to 198 before the former fell for 35 to Gareth Andrew.

In the next over, the eighth wicket fell as Matt Coles sent a return catch to Moeen.

Shantry ensured fine figures of 4-68 when David Balcombe was caught behind by Ben Cox for 23, leaving Hampshire on 237 for nine.

Ervine blasted two mighty sixes in pursuit of his ton but he would fall seven runs short to Charlie Morris as Kervezee rounded off a stellar fielding display.

Worcestershire's response saw Matthew Pardoe removed for 19, but Mitchell and Moeen responded with calmly assured progress and batting bonus points are likely to be the order day four.

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