McKenzie helps Hampshire to draw

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Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie's patient unbeaten 60 guided Hampshire beyond Somerset's first-innings total and towards safety at Taunton

Hampshire’s walking wounded held out for a draw at Taunton to frustrate Somerset’s hopes of moving to the top of the LV= County Championship.

The hosts had to settle for 11 points, having gained a first-innings lead of 128, and are now second in the Division One table - two points behind leaders Nottinghamshire, who have a game in hand.

Hampshire closed on 224 for four in their second innings, with Neil McKenzie unbeaten on 60.

Earlier, Somerset had extended their first innings from an overnight 392 for seven to 412 all out, James Tomlinson finishing with 7-85.

The visitors took eight points, but how the game might affect their chances in Friends Provident t20 Finals Day at the Rose Bowl on Saturday remains to be seen.

Certainly out is Michael Lumb, nursing a broken foot sustained while fielding, while skipper Dominic Cork and all-rounder Sean Ervine are both under treatment for back problems.

When Dan Christian had his grille penetrated by a Zander de Bruyn bouncer in mid-afternoon, Cork waved a white flag of mock surrender from the dressing-room balcony.

Blood poured from a cut on the bridge of Christian’s nose and he needed several minutes of treatment before bravely continuing his innings.

Somerset had batted on at the start of the day to secure a fifth batting point, adding 20 to their score for the loss of the last three wickets, including that of James Hildreth, who could add only two to his overnight 128 not out.

That left the home side 87 overs in which to bowl Hampshire out for a second time, but they rarely looked capable of doing so.

Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry put on 47 for the first wicket before Adams, on 19, top-edged a sweep off Murali Kartik to De Bruyn at leg slip.

Carberry had his leg stump removed by Charl Willoughby having made 22 and at lunch Hampshire were 60 for two, still 68 runs behind.

James Vince and McKenzie had taken the total to 140 when Vince was caught low down at first slip by Marcus Trescothick off de Bruyn’s first ball of the innings for 43.

Christian’s injury came at 146 for three, but by tea he had helped McKenzie move the score on 177 for three and all realistic hope of a Somerset win had gone.

McKenzie reached a stubborn half-century against his old club off 110 balls, with eight fours, and, although Christian fell to Arul Suppiah for 36, the game ended at 4.50pm with home skipper Trescothick offering a handshake.

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