Spinners flourish at Rose Bowl
Another 13 wickets fell on day three at the Rose Bowl, and all but one of them to spin bowlers, as bottom-placed Hampshire took a perilous lead of 116 into the final day of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Nottinghamshire.
Hampshire left-armer Danny Briggs took a season’s best 6-65 as Notts were shot out for 183, providing Hampshire with a slender first-innings advantage of 30.
Then Notts spinner Samit Patel took the first five Hampshire second-innings wickets, aided by a ring of close fielders, as the pitch offered him as much turn as it had done Briggs.
At the close, Hampshire were 86 for six with opener and acting captain Jimmy Adams, having held firm for 33 from 109 balls, out in the last over to medium-pacer Andre Adams.
The first day of an intriguing and closely-fought match was washed out and on the second 13 wickets also fell, six of them to Notts spinners Patel and Graeme White.
The third began with Notts on 35 for three in response to Hampshire’s 213, in which Neil McKenzie used the experience gleaned from 58 Tests for South Africa to make an unbeaten 97.
Briggs, one of the most promising young spinners in county cricket, made the first breakthrough when he had Adam Voges caught at short-leg in his first over and Notts never fully recovered.
Patel and Voges put on 52 for the fourth wicket, which proved to be the highest stand of the innings.
Patel went leg before for 33, and a similar fate befell Steven Mullaney and Chris Read for 36 and 20 respectively.
White provided some belligerent late resistance with a six and two fours in his 25, while Darren Pattinson also hit Briggs for a maximum in his 17 not out. However, Briggs was not to be denied and removed White to a catch in the deep as Hampshire struggled to finish off the tail.
Last man Charlie Shreck lasted two balls before giving another spinner, Imran Tahir, a return catch in the 82nd over.
Hampshire needed to build on their narrow lead but fared no better second time round, losing Liam Dawson, Michael Carberry, James Vince, Sean Ervine and McKenzie, this time without scoring, with only 70 on the board.
Patel proved hard to face, sending back Vince and Ervine to leg before decisions and removing the others to close catches.
Hampshire were comfortable all the while Adams was there, but he fell to his namesake with four balls remaining of the scheduled last over to swing the advantage back in Notts’ direction.
Patel ended the day with 5-36, giving him nine wickets in the match so far, and leaving Hampshire in real danger of losing their sixth match of the season.