Bailey responds to horror start
George Bailey marked his LV= County Championship debut with a valuable 93 as Hampshire recovered from losing both opening batsmen without a run on the board to reach 286 for four against Leicestershire at the Ageas Bowl.
Visiting captain Ramnaresh Sarwan decided to field first under overcast skies and was rewarded with the wickets of Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry in the first five overs.
Adams was bowled fifth ball by Alex Wyatt and Carberry edged defensively to new wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien to give veteran former England bowler Matthew Hoggard an early breakthrough.
Yet Bailey, Australia’s Twenty20 captain, joined Liam Dawson in a partnership of 141 for the third wicket as Leicestershire struggled to make the best of their promising start.
By the end of the day, Hampshire were in a strong position with James Vince and Sean Ervine having added respective unbeaten scores of 77 and 57.
Sarwan used seven bowlers before lunch as Tasmanian Bailey dominated, rapidly outscoring Dawson to help Hampshire seize the initiative.
Dawson reached 46 from 83 balls before he chased a wide delivery from medium-pacer Ollie Freckingham to give Jigar Naik a catch in the gully.
That provided Freckingham with his maiden first-class wicket and another soon followed as Bailey was dismissed with a century in his sights.
The experienced Australian was stumped with the score on 150 as he sought to add to his boundary count, which reached 14.
Bailey’s exit failed to give the frail Leicestershire attack any respite and Hampshire’s fifth-wicket pair added a further 136 runs before bad light and rain intruded after 71.2 overs.
Neither Vince nor Ervine were troubled during their alliance, with the former striking 14 fours to his partner’s eight.
After their early successes, Leicestershire’s bowlers struggled to maintain their discipline, even though conditions were always helpful.
Freckingham finished with 2-71 from 14 overs but, like his team-mates, struggled to contain the free-scoring Bailey.