Ervine ton rescues Hampshire
Sean Ervine struck an unbeaten century as Hampshire recovered from a shaky start against winless Glamorgan in LV= County Championship Division Two.
Ervine had scored 42 when joined by last man David Balcombe, but went on to 109 not out when the number 11 was finally dismissed, caught at second slip for a championship-best 39 from 42 balls.
The last-wicket pair had put on 85 in 14 overs as Glamorgan struggled with increasing exasperation to make the final breakthrough with their weakened attack; the visitors went into the match without three injured frontline pace bowlers, including 49-wicket pair Graham Wagg and Huw Waters.
At least they had the choice of what to do with a green-tinged wicket, with their captain Mark Wallace deciding to field first in soaring temperatures.
Wallace had at his disposal a new-ball attack consisting of Will Owen and Michael Reed, who had previously taken only five wickets between them this season, and John Glover, making his first championship appearance of the summer after recovering from glandular fever.
The trio responded to the challenge with commitment and enthusiasm as Hampshire’s more experienced line-up struggled to 96 for five.
Glover sent back Liam Dawson and Michael Carberry with 22 on the board and then had James Vince caught behind in a fiery morning spell.
Owen won an lbw appeal against Simon Katich and then bowled Hampshire’s captain Jimmy Adams for an obdurate 42 which, until Ervine came along, looked like being Hampshire’s top score.
Ervine, coming in at six, shared in stands of 63 with the fluent Michael Bates and 45 alongside Chris Wood.
At 231 for nine, Glamorgan must have been pleased with their performance in the conditions and within the limitations of their rookie attack.
But then Balcombe and Ervine came together with a belligerent late partnership, the former hitting eight fours before becoming Glover’s fourth victim of a fluctuating day.
Ervine got an ovation as he came off, his 149-ball innings comprising of 11 fours and a six off Jim Allenby which took him to his hundred.
Glover finished with 4-76 and Owen 4-87 but Hampshire’s first-innings total of 316 from 86.4 overs was many more than they might have anticipated.
By the close, Glamorgan openers Nick James and Gareth Rees had shaved 13 off the deficit.