Ervine double ton galvanises Hampshire

Lv County Championship

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Sean Ervine

Sean Ervine's superlative 237 not out gave Hampshire a fantastic chance of winning their first game of the season

Sean Ervine lead Hampshire’s fightback against Somerset at the Rose Bowl with a career-best 237 as the south coast side look for their first win in this season’s LV= County Championship Division One.

Zimbabwean all-rounder Ervine struck his double century off 333 balls and put on 170 for the ninth wicket with James Tomlinson at the Rose Bowl.

Hampshire bowlers David Griffiths and Rangana Herath then claimed the wickets of Marcus Trescothick for 41 and Arul Suppiah for 27 to leave their side in a commanding position at the close of play.

Hampshire began the day on 281 for seven but the classy batting of Ervine soon took them towards a winnable total.

The inconsistent number seven brought his century up with a back-foot drive off Charl Willoughby in the 108th over.

Herath was proving a sturdy accomplice at the other end, leaving Ervine the strike and picking singles when it counted before he was removed as he edged to Jos Buttler off the bowling of Ben Phillips.

Ervine’s previous best Championship score was a relatively modest 114 and he stormed past that figure with Hampshire on 341 for eight and beginning to amass a large score.

His 150 arrived from 229 balls and at lunch the home side were just eight runs shy of the 400 mark.

Tail-ender Tomlinson reached his own personal milestone as he too made a career-best 42 before departing on that score, in similar fashion to Herath.

Less than an hour later Ervine was punching the air as he brought up his first double hundred for Hampshire, from 314 balls, as Somerset toiled to clean up the Hampshire tail.

Hampshire were finally all out as Griffiths sliced Nick Compton’s full delivery to Trescothick at midwicket but Ervine was the star having remained undefeated on 237, including 29 fours and five sixes.

Somerset themselves, though, clearly eyed a decent total and Trescothick and Suppiah began confidently, bringing up a 50-partnership within 20 overs.

Trescothick was trapped lbw by Griffiths and then Suppiah flicked a leading edge to Dominic Cork in Herath’s first over at close of play to leave the advantage with Hampshire.